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 March 18, 2018. 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm, Roxham Rd, USA. A cold sunny day. Three people crossed into Canada but an officer told us that upwards of 30 people had crossed during the night and early morning. The first to come were a Nigerian man and a woman of African origin who came in the same taxi but were not travelling together. The two people were, extremely stressed and fearful. They were so stressed they did not want to converse with us at all. The RCMP officer kept them standing at the border for a long time asking them many different questions and trying as hard as he could to get them to go to the Lacolle border. His first words were 'You cannot enter Canada here. You should go to Lacolle.' which he repeated a few times. He then asked them 'What are your intentions?' The man said his house in Nigeria had been bombed or burnt and one of his parents killed. The officer asked him 'What do you know about Canadian law.?' Then he told the man 'If you go to Lacolle you can make a claim for asylum and it will be quicker there. ' He later said ' If your first entry into Canada is illegal it will not look good on your record.' Finally after other commentaries he told them 'You will do what you are going to do and I will arrest you if you cross over.' The two finally decided to go across.
Next came a single French speaking man of African origin. He was highly anxious and not that warmly dressed. A different RCMP officer kept him standing at the border for some time asking questions and telling him a variety of things. He first said to the man that he could not cross here into Canada and he should to go to the 'other' place (i.e. Lacolle). If you enter here you will be arrested and it will take you longer to make your claim but if you go to immigration you can make your claim faster. The man tried to explain that he came from a country at war, his son had been killed and he was not safe there and that he had entered the USA legitimately but could not stay there. The officer kept trying to get him to go Lacolle, at one point saying to 'Do you want me to ask the others (us ? the taxi driver?) to take you to immigration (i.e. at Lacolle) ?' The man became more agitated and confused with the questions and comments. He looked to his right as though thinking that 'immigration' was just nearby. His voice rose a bit in his anxiety and the officer told him 'Well it won't help you if you yell at me.' At one point it looked like he might turn around and go back to the taxi. Eventually the officer said ' Well it's your choice but there will be an X on your case if you enter here and get arrested.' Eventually the man did cross over.
The taxi driver (who we have often seen at Roxham) said that he had observed this sort of behavior a lot he said 'They (the RCMP) are being rude to these people. They won't let them cross, that they are going to get deported back to their country....and they are telling families that. It's getting worse again.'
Sunday March 11th, 2018: 3.45pm - 4.45 pm. Roxham Road, USA. Only two people came to the border during this time slot. The taxi driver confirmed that no one else was coming. Two young men crossed separately. One was from Pakistan and the other was from Syria. The RCMP officer gave the basic information to the two men ('you will be arrested and if you don't want to be arrest you must go to Lacolle border crossing') and did not attempt to pressure them into going to Lacolle.
Sunday, March 4th 2018, 3.45 pm - 5pm. Roxham Road, USA. A total of eight people crossed over into Canada. The first was a Nigerian woman in her 50's who had been living for some time in the US. She was very stressed and in tears as she prepared to cross and very appreciative of some warm things. Next came a Nigerian woman with her adult son. She said they had been living in New York City for a few months. As they were preparing to cross the RCMP officer tried to convince them to go to Lacolle border saying ' Do you want to start your life in Canada with a criminal record?'. Next came a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo: mother, grandmother and two young children- a girl about 6 years old and a boy about 4 years old. The mother had an 8 month old baby on her back. The officer helped them to get their luggage across the border.
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.