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 October 28, 2018. Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA.
A cold rainy day. A total of 10 people entered Canada when we were there. The BnB volunteers waited for a long while at the border when two young women reporters from New York City arrived . They work for a publication called Business Insider. They asked about our group and the situation at the border.
Around 4pm two taxis and a minibus arrived. In the first taxi were two man: one from Nigeria and the other from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They had very little luggage and neither of the men were dressed warmly. They were very grateful to receive hats, scarves and mittens. The second taxi brought two women. We did not have chance to talk to them because they crossed over the border while we talked to the passengers of the minibus. The taxi driver told us that they had come from Nigeria.
The passengers on the bus were Spanish speaking and came from Columbia: two women, a 10 month old baby, a four year old child and one man. They also had very little luggage and gratefully accepted some warm things. The RCMP officers behaved appropriately with the refugees.
Sunday, October 21, 2018. Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA.
BnB volunteers arrived around 3:30 pm. A chilly afternoon. Not long afterwards a Plattsburgh Taxi arrived delivering a woman from Nigeria with two young daughters (around 4 and 7 years old ). When addressed by the RCMP officer, the mother answered quickly saying "Yes we want to come" and walked across with her children. The taxi driver told us that no one else had come off the bus. Around 4pm an SUV arrived driven by a freelance journalist from Chicago who asked us a few questions about our group. He also said that he had a relative living nearby who wanted to donate some warm clothing to our group.
Later a second taxi arrived with a family from Columbia - mother, father and a small daughter aged about 2 or 3 years old. As they spoke very little English, the RCMP officer spoke Spanish to them. They then crossed over into Canada. With both groups of refugees, the RCMP officers respected their protocol. A total of 6 people entered Canada while we were there.
Sunday October 14, 2018. Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA.
A beautiful sunny autumn day. The colours of the leaves are at their best today. The first taxi to arrive brings four people. We speak first with a single woman in her 30's from the Democratic Republic of Congo, She holds the hands of the volunteer. Her smile is beautiful and sad as she shares how hard it is in her country. She is afraid of to cross into Canada and be arrested and yet brave at the same time. The other people in the taxi are a young family from El Salvador - mother, father and one year old baby. They seem nervous but excited to have arrived at the border and to take the next step. The RCMP officer speaks in French to the Congolese woman. He then speaks in basic Spanish to the El Salvadorean family until he is told they speak English and he switches. It sounded like he first said in Spanish 'You don't have a right to cross here.' which would not have been correct (see: http://www.bridgesnotborders.ca/myths-and-facts-2.html). All four cross into Canada without incident.
Nearly an hour later a second taxi arrives bringing an Egyptian family from the train station - mother, father, teenage daughter, and two sons aged about 10 and 4. They are tense and afraid as they struggle with their luggage. We help out and speak with the mother who is in tears from fear and all the stress of finally arriving here at the border. Her little son is crying and so is her daughter. The RCMP officer speaks gently to them explaining the protocol. They finally cross over and another officer speaks kindly to the little boy.
Sunday October 7, 2018. Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA.
After waiting a while at the border, two taxis arrived transporting 2 groups of people. The taxi drivers helped everyone with their luggage and showed them where to cross. The first taxi brought two women and one man from Burundi. They spoke English and French. The second taxi brought a family from Ethiopia, a mother and two teenage daughters, English speaking. The driver also offered them bottle water, but they declined. When asked by an RCMP officer where they came from the mother said Dallas,Texas, but when questioned further said Ethiopia. At first the RCMP officers were inside the building but then came out. One officer spoke very loudly and one of the Burundian woman hesitated at first, but then went across. into Canada.
Sunday, September 30, 2018. Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA.
A chilly autumn day. A total of eight people crossed into Canada while we were there (six adults and two small children). The first taxi arrived bringing just one young man from Haiti who spoke only French. He crossed quickly into Canada. Next came a shuttle with 5 adults and two children from Nigeria. There was a young single woman with a baby and little girl who had to struggle with her children, stroller and luggage. There were three single men. Finally there was a single older woman who was very worried. According to the shuttle driver she had already gone to the official border and been refused entry into Canada due to the STCA.
There were four RCMP officers dealing with the asylum seekers. They were consistently polite and agreeable.
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.