On this blog page, we are posting information about our visits to the border at Roxham Road, USA side.
For more information about the purpose of these visits go to the news page.
We have also started to post our newsletters on the blog.
Sur ce blogue, nous affichons des informations sur nos visites à la frontière, Roxham Road, États Unis.
Pour plus d'info sur le but de ces visites allez sur la page nouvelles.
Aussi, nous avons commencé à poster nos infolettres sur le blogue.
Sunday, May 20th, 2018: Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA.
A warm sunny afternoon. Eleven people crossed over into Canada. The RCMP first asked people to read the information on the sign and to tell them when they are finished reading to tell them. At that point they said: This is your choice but you will be arrested. First came an Angolan family of four (mother, father, a baby and little girl). Then a lone woman from Egypt arrived. After that a Nigerian family of five (parents and three small children) and a single Nigerian man arrived. Everyone crossed over without incident.
The RCMP officers were courteous and told the BnB volunteers that the average numbers of people crossing each day is between 30 and 40 which is less than were crossing in the winter.
Sunday, May 13th 2018. Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA
It was a quiet afternoon. Only three people crossed over.
First came a taxi with a man from Sudan who had been living in the US for a number of years and a woman from Nigeria. The RCMP officer said to them: I am glad you speak English. You cannot cross here. You will be arrested. If you want to cross you must go to an immigration officer. The Sudanese man said : I'd like to take my chances to which the officer replied : Do what you have to do. They crossed over.
A bit later an elderly Haitian woman with a severe limp crossed. She spoke only Creole (Haitian). She was told three times that she would be arrested. She showed her passport and then decided to cross over.
Sunday May 6th, 2018. 3.30pm - 6.30pm. Roxham Road, USA
A sunny pleasant day about 15C. In total 18 people crossed into Canada. First came a group of three people from Venezuela, a mother and teenage son and a young man. They spoke only Spanish and were very confused as they stood at the border. They did not understand what the RCMP officer said to them but saw her pointing in the direction of Lacolle. The teenage boy turned and was about to get back into the taxi but his mother called him back. The BnB volunteer told her in broken Spanish it would be ok and not to be afraid. They then crossed over.
Next a taxi arrived with 2 Nigerian women and three children. The officer said 'if you want to apply for asylum legally you must go to Lacolle'. Subsequently a single Nigerian woman in her late 30's arrived and the officer repeated the same phrase to her.
Later in the afternoon a single man of African origin arrived and when he went across the border there was no RCMP present. They accosted him after he crossed, Some 20 minutes later a Nigerian family arrived- mother, father, two teenage girls and two small children. The RCMP officer kept to their protocol and did not say anything off-script. Finally a single woman from west Africa arrived with a small baby on her back. There was no officer at the border when she walked across.
Sunday, April 29th, 2018. 3.45 pm - 5pm. Roxham Road, USA
A very rainy day. A total of 18 people crossed today. Everyone was of African origin and mostly English speaking. First came a group of four people, 3 men and one woman. In addition to the protocol with RCMP officers are meant to say, they told the refugees to “go enter legally at Lacolle “. Officers also asked them if they had relatives in Canada.
Next came two shuttle buses with several families (7 adults and 8 children). One woman with a baby on her back had bare arms and not coat. She was happy to receive a coat.
A different RCMP officer spoke to these refugees. He repeatedly said "Listen to me. You are not listening. I told you to listen to me” . He said to one man who was speaking with others: ‘ If you convince the others to come over, you will be arrested for human trafficking.” He also said to the people: “You don’t have a chance of being accepted. You will be sent back.” He also asked where one of the families was from. After some time standing in puddles in the rain, everyone crossed.
The border visit reports are written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day. There are about 15 active volunteers in our border visit committee.