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 12, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A pleasant spring afternoon. Only three people crossed when we were there. The shuttle bus brought a French speaking Haitian woman with her son aged about 10 years old who is disabled and in a wheelchair. The other person was a young woman of African origin who spoke English.
We helped the Haitian mother move her luggage to the edge of the border. The RCMP officer told them the standard speech and waited. The woman with the boy in a wheelchair just stood there unsure of what to do. She did not seem to understand that she could now cross. One of us said to her ''Tu peux traverser maintenant'' and a second officer told us ''You can't say that.'' Another few minutes passed and the second woman decided to cross at which point the Haitian woman also moved ahead with her son in the wheelchair and their luggage. The officers did not help her.
Sunday May 5th 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
It was a busier afternoon than we had seen in a long time. In total 15 people crossed today (five children and 10 adults). We got there about 3:20, but a taxi was ahead of us already bringing five adults. They were of African origin speaking French but they preferred not to say where they were from. One woman in the group was quite upset. The RCMP stuck to the protocol of what to say. This group of people seemed completely prepared to hear that they would be arrested and crossed into Canada without difficulty. They were followed by a young man on his own from Columbia and who crossed quickly
A next taxi arrived with a family of four from Columbia who spoke only Spanish. They were anxious to go across as soon as possible. The last taxi brought a very young family also from Columbia with three very small children. The Mom was crying and the father was struggling with the luggage for the whole family. An older RCMP officer, who had been unfriendly so far, saw the weeping woman and called to her, "Don't worry, you're safe here," which was nice. They were told they cannot make two trips back and forth with the luggage (this is the case with everyone). The taxi driver helped the father load up all the luggage and stagger over the border. They crossed without incident.
We found a baby car seat that had been abandoned at the border and brought it back with us to give away.
Spotlight on Columbia: ''The 52-year armed conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the government officially ended with a peace accord in 2016, but violence associated with armed groups increased again in 2018 after initial declines the 2015 FARC ceasefire. Civilians have suffered serious abuses at the hands of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas, FARC dissidents, and paramilitary successor groups. Human rights defenders, journalists, indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders, and other community activists have faced death threats and violence. Violence associated with the conflict has forcibly displaced more than 8.1 million Colombians since 1985.'' Many people have simply disappeared but the government does not help their families to find out the truth about the disappearances.
Sunday, April 28th 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A fresh sunny spring day. Six people crossed into Canada while we were there this afternoon. At the border we met a photographer doing a documentary on refugees in Canada. She was accompanied by a teacher of sociology at SUNY.
We waited quite a while until the shuttle bus arrived from the Pittsburgh bus station. There were 6 people aboard, a youngish couple with two young children aged about two and five years old, along with two adult men. We believe they were all from Haiti. They all crossed at the border without incident.
Sunday, April 21st 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
Three people and a dog crossed into Canada today.
After about 20 minutes a taxi brought two young men from Yemen* each carrying a small backpack.
They were anxious to cross as quickly as possible and entered Canada without incident.
Not long after a second taxi brought a slender young woman with a backpack, a small dog and carrying case for the dog. She spoke very little English and told us she was from Russia. She crossed over with the dog without problem. The little dog was tied up outside, while she was interviewed by the RCMP in their building.
* Spotlight on Yemen: "The UN considers Yemen to be the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with 14 million people at risk of starvation and repeated outbreaks of deadly diseases like cholera. This crisis is linked to the armed conflict." See the 2019 Human Rights Watch Report on Yemen here:
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.