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 8th 2020. Afternoon at Roxham Road, US.
A warm March day. It was busy at the border. When we arrived at 3.15 pm, the RCMP officer said that 25 people had crossed after 2pm that day. While we were there 19 people also crossed: 11 adults (6 women and 5 men) and 8 children (6 boys and two girls).
The first taxi came with two men in their late 30's - one man from Pakistan and the other from Nigeria. Both accepted gloves, hats and scarves. They crossed without incident into Canada. Next came a taxi with a family from Columbia - mother, father and a boy about 14 years old. All of them looked stressed and since they only spoke Spanish they were at a disadvantage. One of us was able to communicate in basic Spanish with them and they crossed over without difficulty.
Almost immediately another taxi brought a tall Sudanese woman with three small boys aged about 4 to 8 years old. They were all wearing surgical masks. The little boys looked very tired and it seemed they had been travelling along time. The boys took mittens and some hats. Speaking with the mother, we could see she was very scared and when one of us asked if she wanted a hug she nodded and burst into tears during the hug. After she calmed down she was able to go to the border with her children and cross over. We helped with the luggage.
Next up came a taxi with a single Sudanese woman and her baby ( two and a half months old) and a man from Sri Lanka. Because there was no room in the taxi for her baby's stroller, she had to wait for the next taxi to arrive with it. We talked for a bit. She told us she was from Khartoum and had travelled a long way to get here. The man from Sri Lanka spoke very little English, but he waited for the taxi to arrive with the stroller so he could help the Sudanese woman with her luggage and baby.
A taxi then arrived bringing a Haitian family: mother, father, grandmother and a one year old girl who was carried by the grandmother. They had a lot of luggage that we were able to help them with.
They accepted some warm things. Everyone crossed over without incident.
The last taxi came with a Haitian woman and her two boys. They also took some warm things and entered Canada without difficulty.
The RCMP officers respected the protocol. Some but not all of the officers were wearing surgical masks.
Sunday March 1st, 2020. Afternoon at Roxham Road, US.
A sunny afternoon but on the cool side. 14 people crossed while we were there: 7 adults and 7 children from four different countries. We arrived at 3:45 after being delayed at the border by visa paperwork (one of us is a permanent resident and needs a visa for the US).
At 4 pm two taxis arrived from two different companies with two families from Afghanistan who knew each other. Altogether there were 4 adults and 7 children of all ages (from toddler to teenager). The first family had 3 daughters and the second 2 daughters and 2 sons. The men spoke English and one of them did most of the talking with the RCMP officer. One of the men said to a volunteer that he recognized her because he had seen her on Youtube - probably a media interview.
As the families were crossing the shuttle bus taxi arrived with a lone passenger: a young woman with short green hair from Sierra Leone who was bare-legged wearing a sweater dress, running shoes and a light jacket. We gave her a hat and gloves and scarf which she accepted gladly. Right behind her another taxi arrived with a young man from Uganda who was warmly dressed.
Finally, just before 5 a taxi arrived with a man from Yemen who refused gloves and rsuhed over the border without hesitation. The RCMP officer had to repeat 'Stop' a few times so he could say his piece, which included 'You have the right to remain silent.'
Sunday, February 23rd 2020. Afternoon at Roxham Road, US.
Only two people crossed while we were there - a mother and daughter. A member of Caring for Social Justice, a Valleyfield area group, joined us at the border today. We had a slight delay at the border due to being quizzed at US customs. It was 6 degrees and sunny so we were outside the car chatting when our guest noticed the overflowing garbage bin and checked it out. He found an email flight booking with Turkish Airlines, an international drivers license and a reusable shopping bag containing gloves, scarf, toiletries, a pair of ladies boots and and empty purse. Maybe someone overloaded with baggage decided to leave this behind.
At 4pm a taxi driver we know well arrived with a woman and a small girl - about three years old - who looked scared, unlike other children we've seen looked carefree. They were Haitian but had lived in Columbia in South America. The RCMP officer gave the usual talk, respecting the protocol.
The taxi driver said that there weren't likely to be other taxis on the way as there were people planning to come the next day because they believed that a Monday would be better than a Sunday.
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.