On this blog, we used to post information about our visits to the border at Roxham Road, USA side.
Since the closure of Roxham Road on Friday 24 March 2023, we're attempting to keep a log of the info we have about refugees who have been returned to the US.
Sur ce blogue, nous avons affiché des informations sur nos visites à la frontière, Roxham Road, États Unis. Depuis la fermeture de Roxham Road le vendredi 24 mars 2023, nous essayons de tenir un répertoire des informations que nous avons cueillies sur les réfugiés qui ont été renvoyés aux États-Unis.
Arrival at 3pm. Good exchange with the RCMP officers without any comment on our box with warm clothes as happened on two occasions.
Upon arrival, there was a Quebec immigration lawyer who had come to investigate and take pictures. I introduced myself and he asked me if he could interview me about our work. I refused, as I was not the person in the group authorized to do so, and moreover, I did not know the purpose of his investigation. He stayed until the first group arrived and photographed or filmed their arrival.
First group of 7 people in an unidentified cab, most likely of Middle Eastern origin. They were hesitating to cross, as if they were waiting for my approval to join the customs officers. They moved on when I gave them a sign.
Second and third group, arriving in minivan taxis, about twenty people (mostly adult men with two or three women and 4 children), probably coming from South America and Africa.
When we welcome people, it seems important to tell them that the mittens etc. are free. The drivers were very cooperative in telling them that it was free.
I left at 4:15 pm.
About 1/4 km from the border a group of 7 people (children and adults) were walking towards the border. A driver in an unidentified van came and offered to take them to the border. After some back and forth, they refused the offer, as they had almost arrived. I took out the bin with the warm things, because I could see that they would have been useful. But in the end I decided to go back to my car, not wanting to intervene, being alone and in the dark, with people who no doubt were tired and had had their share of difficult interactions by that point.
At the Canadian border post, a very nice customs officer gave me my passport with a strange smile. I asked her what this smile meant... Answer: ''We pay enough taxes as it is'', probably in disapproval of our work.
We arrived at 3.20 pm today, but no one arrived until 4:00 pm and then it was non-stop! 4 taxis arrived and one unmarked van. Everyone was in their twenties except a man from Tanzania who might have been in his thirties.
At 4:00 pm:
One taxi brought 7 people: five people from Haiti: 2 men, 2 women and a 4-year old girl and a single man from Tanzania. They all accepted mitts, hats and some scarves. There was another man who crossed the border immediately without talking with us.
A second taxi brought 9 people. There were 2 women, three men and one 10 year old boy from Haiti. As well there was a Namibian family of a man, woman and four year old girl.
The next taxi brought five Haitian people: three men and two women.
At 4.30 pm, a taxi arrived with a Spanish speaking woman and her five year old daughter and a young Haitian woman aged about 18 years.
In total 24 people crossed. There was one creole-speaking RCMP Officer which was helpful. The officers we saw were respectful with the refugees.
The earlier border visit reports were written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day, the later updates about the situation in the US are an attempt to keep a log of what we find out through our own visits in the US, or through contacts in the US.