On this blog, 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.
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.
Sunday, November 17th 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A very cold day. We arrived late at Roxham Road after being held up at the border crossing.
Only one person, a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo was already crossing into Canada. The taxi driver told us where the man had come from. We stayed until 5pm, but no one else came.
Sunday, November 10th, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
We arrived at 3.30 pm and at 4.10 pm a taxi arrived bringing five people: a man on his own and a family of four ( couple and 2 children - one teenager and one about 8 years old).
The family was from Haiti and spoke little English so we spoke in French. The man my also have been Haitian. His English was good and perhaps he had lived for some time in the USA. They all took warm things and were very appreciative.
The man on his own crossed first. He was very determined in his crossing which seemed to upset the RCMP officer on duty. The officer told him to step back and listen before he crossed. Then once the man crossed over he turned back to the family and waved them to come through. This gesture got the officer very angry and he told the man that his action was a criminal offence!
Sunday November 3rd, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
Arrived by 3.20 pm on a cool November day with a spattering of rain. A journalist doing a piece for
North Country PBS was on site when we arrived. In total 10 people crossed while we were there.
The first taxi brought six people - two men travelling separately and a family of four. One man was french speaking and of African origin. The other man spoke English. The family, who were from Nigeria but had been living in Philadelphia, comprised a mother and three young boys age 2, 5 and 7 years old. The children were very friendly and took hats and scarves. Their mother was very afraid and when one of us gave her a hug, she burst into tears. She and her boys crossed into Canada without incident. The RCMP officer, a woman, spoke in both languages and was friendly and polite.
Much later a second taxi brought a family of four who were from Haiti: a mother and three boys aged about 15, 10 and 8 years old. They had very little luggage and the mother had no jacket. They all took scarves, hats and some mits. The mother was also afraid and distressed and was happy to have a hug. A second RCMP officer spoke to her in French and they crossed into Canada without problem. By the time we left it was dark as the clocks had gone back.
Sunday October 27th, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
We arrived at 3.20pm on a rainy day. While we were there 13 people crossed into Canada (6 women, 6 children and one man). The first taxi arrived at 4.30 pm. It brought a french speaking woman and her baby. She seemed very confident and relaxed and took a hat for the baby.
The 2nd taxi showed up about 10 minutes later bringing 3 Nigerians: two women and an adolescent who had difficulty walking. They didn't take anything. The women seemed very stressed.
The 3rd taxi came shortly after with a Haitian family: man, woman, and baby. The woman took a scarf for herself.
The last taxi came with a Colombian mother and 3 children: two adolescent girls and one young boy. They didn't take anything. The taxi also brought a woman from Nigeria.
The RCMP officer was very friendly. When the last taxi showed up another officer took over, but he too was friendly.
Sunday, October 20, 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
We arrived at 3.20 pm but it was not until after 4 pm that a flurry of arrivals came one after the other. In total 22 people crossed into Canada this afternoon (7 women, 8 men and 7 children – 4 boys and 3 girls). We gave out hats, mits and gloves to about half of the people.
First came a City Taxi bringing a family from El Salvador (mother, father and little boy) along with a young man (about 18) from Yemen. The taxi driver told us that he had lived his life in Saudi Arabia where his parent migrated there but had not lived in Yemen, a country consumed by a terrible armed conflict and widespread famine.
Next a taxi brought a group of people from Kashmir: a couple and a family with two children, a girl and a boy. The third taxi brought a couple with a little girl, who seemed of African origin. Next, five people arrived in one taxi: two men and a woman with a teenage boy and a young girl.
After a pause, a taxi brought a lone male passenger with quite a bit of luggage. He looked exhausted and as though he had been through a lot of hardship. He was confused by the RCMP speech but finally crossed over. During the RCMP questioning he said that he spoke Arabic.
Finally, the shuttle bus brought a woman with a young boy about 7 years old and a black woman on her own.
RCMP behaviour was mixed. One officer was kind but also said, ‘it is not legal for you to apply for asylum here’ which is incorrect (see http://www.bridgesnotborders.ca/myths-and-facts-2.html ). Another officer was belligerent and kept trying to get people to leave and go to the Lacolle Port of Entry. For anyone seeking asylum this is dangerous advice. Because of the Safe Third Country Agreement, people applying for asylum at a regular Port of Entry risk being sent back to the USA where they will be detained and will be at risk of being sent back to their homelands without proper safeguards. This could put their lives in danger.
The border visit reports are written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day.