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.
We arrived at the American side of Roxham at around 3:45 on a beautiful afternoon.
We noticed a masked woman on the Canadian side of the road and at first thought she was an RCMP officer and wondered why she was standing on the road and not by the facilities. We spoke with her and discovered that she was a journalist photographer for Reuters (from Montreal) who'd come to observe and take photos and had been there since 9:30 am. She had only seen three refugees crossing since that time. In 2019 or so she'd participated in a story about the Plattsburgh taxi drivers delivering refugee claimants to Roxham. We explained to her about Bridges not Borders' and Plattsburgh Cares' involvement over the past few years. She asked if we minded being photographed and we said ok.
At 4:05 pm a van arrived with a man and woman with a baby, another couple with no children and 2 other men. Some (or perhaps all) were from Haiti. They accepted some gloves and hats and the baby had 2 finger puppets. We were able to watch the couple with the baby being checked out as they were brought into a tented area attached to the RCMP building. Afterwards an RCMP officer told us that they had to take the hand-held items away from the family who were Covid positive. He acknowledged the helpful gesture but said that it only slowed down their process and was not useful, especially if there were longer lineups. He thought that we were American volunteers.
At 4:45 pm a black car with tinted windows swooped in and left, leaving a man wearing a t-shirt and jeans and carrying a small backpack. He barely looked at us and presented himself to an officer who asked him if he spoke English or French. He said Kurdish and Turkey and stepped towards the officer who arrested him. So while we were there, only 8 people crossed: 2 women, 5 men and one baby.
Before leaving I asked the photographer if an article would be published sometime and she said that Anna Maher of Reuters would be writing something that could be found on Tuesday (April 26th). It was a pleasant afternoon for us but I don't think the arriving refugees noticed!
The border visit reports are written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day.