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.
A mild sunny day. We arrived at about 3.45pm. The bus was delayed arriving in Plattsburgh. Spoke with an RCMP officer.
Just after 4 pm the first taxi arrived bring a man in his 30's with a suitcase and he slowly crossed over. Shortly afterwards a black SUV (not a taxi) brought 2 Arabic speaking men, who looked like father and son. They did not speak English or French and also crossed without incident.
Other taxis arrived in quick succession. Next was a family of three, mother, father and little girl aged about 4 years old. They spoke English. Next a taxi brought two young men each with a tiny backpack. Both were wearing only shoes and one had no coat. They indicated they did not understand English or French.
The last taxi brought two single people who both spoke French. One was a man in his 30's who said to the officer that he was from Congo (DRC). The other person was a woman who might have been from Haiti. They both looked exhausted.
Everyone crossed into Canada without incident. The RCMP officers were respectful and spoke kindly, one of them warning people to mind the ruts in the path as they crossed over.
In total 10 people crossed into Canada - 2 women, 7 men and one child.
A cold sunny day at the border. We arrived at about 3.45 pm at Roxham.
At 4 pm the first taxi arrived bringing three young Tamil men from Sri Lanka. They spoke little English but happily took gloves, hats and scarves. They had hardly any belongings with them. The three crossed into Canada without incident. The taxi driver told us he had not picked them up at the bus station and that the 3pm bus had been delayed for an hour, probably because of the snow.
At about 4.30 a second taxi brought the first three passengers from the bus: a young man from Afghanistan, a woman from Columbia in her late 20’s and a man in his 40s from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A few minutes later two taxis arrived at the same time. The first one brought a large Syrian family: mother, father, a baby in a carrying seat, a two year old girl and two twin girls aged about 9-10 years. They had a lot of luggage but it consisted not of large suitcases but a considerable number of smaller improvised bags. It looked as though they had been traveling for a long time. The twin girls were very dynamic. They insisted on getting mitts and hats for the baby and toddler first. Then they accepted some for themselves. They were very diligent helping their father carry all the luggage to the edge of the border and after crossing they were ferrying the luggage back and forth into the RCMP building. All the while the mother was taking care of the baby and toddler. They crossed easily into Canada. I don’t think they understood what the RCMP officer told them.
The other taxi brought a family from Venezuela - a mother, a 7 year old girl and a young man. The mother was pregnant and smiled broadly when we congratulated her. They too entered Canada without incident.
We decided to leave about 5 pm. As we drove along Roxham, a black SUV passed us by. Approaching the junction with North Star road we saw another SUV drop off a group of people at the corner. They began walking down Roxham in our direction. We stopped and offered them warm things but they were too intent on walking to the border to stop. They were not dressed warmly and we were concerned for their safety as it was getting much colder and the walk to Roxham would take about 15 minutes. We turned around to return to the border. As we did the black SUV we had passed earlier came towards us. We stopped it and asked the driver if he was a taxi. He said he was an Uber driver. We asked him as a special favor to pick up the family and drive them to the border. He agreed and we met them when they arrived. At that point they were happy to accept warm things. They were a Persian speaking family from Iran with minimal luggage carried in backpacks: mother, father, baby, teenage boy and three younger children. The parents looked exhausted. They too crossed over safely.
In total we saw 19 people: three women, seven men and 9 children/teens.
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.