On this blog, we used to post information about our visits to the border at Roxham Road, USA side.
Since the closure of Roxham Road on Friday 24 March 2023, we're attempting to keep a log of the info we have about refugees who have been returned to the US.
Sur ce blogue, nous avons affiché des informations sur nos visites à la frontière, Roxham Road, États Unis. Depuis la fermeture de Roxham Road le vendredi 24 mars 2023, nous essayons de tenir un répertoire des informations que nous avons cueillies sur les réfugiés qui ont été renvoyés aux États-Unis.
Sunday, February 16th, 2020. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A mild, grey and damp winter's day. Only two people crossed into Canada during the time we were there (over 2 hours). One of us arrived early and spoke with the RCMP officer who said to her - '' You know it is illegal to help refugees.'' This is the first time an officer has said this. We presume he meant - to help people cross irregularly, not to greet people and give out warm things.
A taxi arrived at about 3.45 pm bringing a young couple from Nicaragua who spoke a bit of English. The taxi driver told us they had been very scared during the taxi ride and he hoped he had helped them feel calmer.
The young woman did not show her fear and seemed quite upbeat. Both she and her male companion accepted warm things and hugs. The woman went first to the border followed by her partner. The RCMP officer (four officers were present) spoke to them in Spanish and she simply said OK and went bravely across.
The RCMP behaved appropriately although it seemed to us that the officer had said to her
in Spanish ''You cannot cross here to claim asylum.'' Under other circumstances (e.g. no witnesses present) this might have prevented someone from crossing. It is also not true since clearly people do cross here to claim asylum.
Sunday, February 9th, 2020. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
We arrived at about 3:30 . Roxham Road had been well ploughed after the big storm on Friday. In total 10 people crossed into Canada while we were there (5 adults and 5 children).
Just after 4pm two taxis arrive one after the other. One taxi might have come from the airport. The first taxi brought a family from Haiti. The parents were in their 30s and their three children were aged about 6, 11 and 18 years old. All very happy to receive warm mitts and scarves. They spoke French and were very appreciative of our presence .
The second taxi had another young family also from Haiti but they only spoke English suggesting they had been in the US for some time. The parents were also in their early 30s and had two young children, about 5 and 2 years old.
The last taxi arrived about 15 minutes later. It brought , a young woman - aged about 20 years old from South Africa. She was happy to take a scarf from us.
The RCMP behaved appropriately and kept to their protocol.
Sunday February 2nd, 2020. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A fairly mild winter day. Today a total of 11 people crossed into Canada: 8 adults (5 men and three women) and three children.
At 4pm a taxi brought a mother and child (about 6 years old) who spoke French and gratefully took gloves and hats.
Then within about 15 minutes, four taxis arrived one after the other. The first taxi brought a man from Sri Lanka who took gloves and a hat and two English speaking men who did not want to talk with us or take anything.
The second taxi brought a mother and daughter from Lebanon. They had been able to speak with the taxi driver in Arabic and so were prepared and relaxed. They took gloves. Next a taxi brought a man who spoke neither French nor English and did not need anything from us. Finally, the last taxi arrived with a Spanish speaking family (from Latin America) comprised of a mother, father and an older son. They were friendly but did not need any warm things.
The RCMP officers behaved appropriately and also allowed taxi drivers to help passengers with their suitcases.
The earlier border visit reports were written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day, the later updates about the situation in the US are an attempt to keep a log of what we find out through our own visits in the US, or through contacts in the US.