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 24th 2019. Afternoon at Roxham Road, USA.
A cold late autumn afternoon. We arrived at 3.20 pm. While we were there five people crossed into Canada- 2 women, 2 men and one child.
First to arrive by taxi was a young man about 30 years old from Ethiopia. He was shy about taking warm things that he needed and finally accepted a hat, scarf and gloves. He was calm and crossed quickly in over the border.
Next came a Haitian women in her 30's on her own. She told us that she had been living in the US before deciding to come to Canada. She had three large bags with her and had clearly brought as many of her possessions as she could. She was dressed in a thin jacket and was happy to take some things. When we told her she would be arrested by the RCMP, she began crying and trembling. One of us gave her a hug and reassurance that this was a temporary arrest and she would be ok. The RCMP officer told her (wrongly) that ''Five kilometres from here is a Port of Entry where you can apply for refugee status.''** She became confused and turned to us, saying in French '' Can you help me? ''. We told her that crossing at Roxham was her best option. After a another moment of hesitation she crossed over.
The last taxi to arrive while we were there brought a family of three from Columbia: young parents and a daughter aged about 5 years. They only spoke Spanish and fortunately one of us was able to speak Spanish with them. They were stressed but calm. The father took a scarf. The RCMP officer was brief and to the point and they crossed without incident.
** Because of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) between Canada and the USA, asylum seekers who try to claim asylum at a Canadian land Port of Entry are at risk of being sent back to the United States (and to be held in immigration detention there) unless they meet one of the four exceptions to the Agreement. The STCA only applies at official land Ports of Entry and not at irregular crossings such as Roxham Road. The STCA is thus the reason why people are crossing irregularly into Canada.
The border visit reports are written by the volunteers who were at the border on that day.