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.
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.
Dear friends, cher.es ami.es,
Season’s greetings and all good wishes for the holidays and the New Year!
And may those who come to seek refuge in Canada feel welcome and find a real home here!
(The photos are refugees celebrating Christmas in different provinces in Canada and around the world, details below).
Joyeuses Fêtes et meilleurs vœux pour les Fêtes et la nouvelle année !
Et que ceux qui viennent chercher refuge au Canada se sentent les bienvenu.es et y trouvent un vrai chez-soi !
(Les photos sont des réfugiés qui célèbrent Noël dans différentes provinces du Canada et à travers le monde, voir détails ci-dessous).
Frances, Grace and Wendy
Coordinating Committee/Comité de coordination
The Christmas photos (clockwise, starting from top left): Syrian family in Kelowna, BC, with their sponsors; Couple from DR Congo in a reception center in Ottawa; Christian Syrian family in Calgary, AB; Christmas party for refugees at multicultural center in Quebec city; Christmas tree at the now closed down ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, France; Christmas party for Zimbabwean refugee children in a South African refugee camp; Refugee camp of Christian Iraqis in Kurdish Iraq; Burmese refugees in Perth, Western Australia; In the center: Syrian refugee boy at Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa.
Les photos de Noël (dans le sens-horaire, en commençant par le haut à gauche) : Famille syrienne à Kelowna, C.-B., avec leurs parrains ; couple de la RD Congo dans un centre d'accueil de réfugiés à Ottawa ; famille chrétienne syrienne à Calgary, AB ; fête de Noël pour les réfugiés au centre multiculturel à Québec ; arbre de Noël au camp de réfugiés " Jungle " maintenant fermé à Calais, France ; fête de Noël pour enfants réfugiés du Zimbabwe dans un camp sud-africain ; camp de réfugiés Irakiens chrétiens en Irak kurde; réfugiés birmans à Perth, Australie occidentale ; Au centre : un jeune réfugié syrien aux célébrations de la fête du Canada à Ottawa.
Sunday, December 16, 2018. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
During the two hours we were there only one taxi arrived, the shuttle bus which brought only four people. They had not come from the airport though. They were a family of four from Nicaragua who spoke a little English. A mother, father and two boys aged about 6 and 12. Everyone was glad to take hats and mittens. The two boys were anxious. When we explained they would be arrested the woman looked worried but was reassured when we explained it was a temporary measure. The RCMP stuck to their protocol and the family crossed without incident.
Sunday December 9, 2018. Afternoon. Roxham Road, USA.
It was a cloudy overcast day when we arrived. The temperature was about 0 C. After waiting for a bit, the first taxi arrived with a couple from Eritrea who spoke English with us. The woman was visibly pregnant and remarked on the cold even though they were dressed appropriately for the weather. They had numerous suitcases that they struggled with as they crossed over. As they were preparing to cross the next taxi arrived, stopping further down Roxham Road. A tall black man got out and rushed by us to cross the border. He was clearly anxious to get across.
Immediately afterwards (and before the first taxi had even left) another taxi arrived with two men, a woman and a small girl. The driver helped them with the luggage and they headed over on the heels of the first group. No one was interested in hats and mitts but the woman with the small girl told us they were from Burundi and the taxi driver told us that the two men were from Haiti and Yemen.
Shortly afterwards a taxi brought a family of four from Libya: mother, father and two primary school aged children (a girl and a boy). The father was not wearing a hat or gloves but politely declined our offer of warm things. The driver also helped them with their luggage and told us that the man was a doctor and the woman a teacher. We noticed that they were waiting outside the RCMP building for awhile before being taken in.
Lastly, a taxi brought an older woman in her 50’s and as she struggled to get her backpack on I one of us asked where she was from and she answered "America". She went straight towards the RCMP officer but when she heard what he said about her being arrested etc she hesitated. The officer repeated that it was her choice and finally she did move forward.
Today a total of nine adults and three children crossed into Canada without incident and the RCMP respected their protocol.
Sunday, December 2, 2018. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A rainy mild day although the rain stopped by the time we arrived. Seven people crossed into Canada while we were there. First to arrive was a taxi bringing a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo: mother, father, two girls and one boy ranging in age from about 4 to 8 years old. The mother was also pregnant. There was also a young woman with them but not sure what the family relation was. They were not warmly dressed and the adults wore thin plastic slip-ons. Everyone was happy to receive hats, scarves and mittens and the young children in particular enjoyed it. The RCMP officer was friendly with the children after the family crossed into Canada.
Shortly afterwards, a taxi arrived with a single passenger - a young woman from Venezuela who spoke some English. One of us spoke to her in Spanish and she took a hat from us. She told the RCMP officer she didn't speak much English and he asked her to read the sign at the border. After looking at the sign for awhile she went across.
Sunday November 25, 2018. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
No one arrived while we were at the border so nothing to report!
FYI, a total of 16, 298 people crossed irregularly into Quebec (probably all at Roxham Road) from January to October 2018. This is 917 more people than crossed at Roxham from January to October 2017. If you want to read more about numbers of asylum seekers entering Canada go to our webpages:
Sunday November 18, 2018. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
It was a humid and cold day. While we were there only three people crossed into Canada. Although just as we were turning into Roxham Road we saw a taxi leaving so we did miss those who came in the taxi.
At about 3.30 pm a taxi brought a woman who spoke little English or French. She repeated the word “Arabic" several times. She crossed safely into Canada. Shortly after another taxi arrived (from the train station) and two single men crossed. They were from Eritrea and Sudan. One did not listen to the RCMP’s instructions and kept walking over the border. We don't know if he understood what was being said to him. Before going into the RCMP building one of them waved to the taxi driver, who took a picture to send ‘home’. No one needed any mitts nor hats. The RCMP behaved appropriately with all those who entered Canada.
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.