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.
We arrived at 2:35 pm to discover a young woman sitting on the ground beside a large red suitcase looking glum. We hurried to her side with questions. She was 21 years old from Burundi and had not lived in the USA.
She spoke French first, with some English. She said she’d been dropped off down the road by the taxi driver. She said she’d checked on Google and found her way to Roxham but was confused after the officer told her it was better to go through customs. After a few minutes of discussion I suggested she stand up and take a breath and decide what to do. After a few more minutes of contemplation she grabbed her suitcase and re-presented herself. The officer who gave the spiel again suggested that she might be better off going to the main border and that she would be arrested if she crossed there. She nodded and walked on.
At 3 pm a taxi van arrived with 6 passengers: A couple with 3 girls who looked like a couple of teenagers and a pre-teen. They spoke English and were from Nigeria, the father said. The RCMP officer who addressed them said that "this is not the way to enter Canada - you can ask for asylum at the border". He said they shouldn't be taking advice from the taxi drivers. The taxi driver was still there and muttered indignantly that the "taxi driver didn't tell them nuthin." After they'd gone over, were arrested and escorted into the RCMP building, he repeated sarcastically "Don't believe the taxi drivers" and shook his head saying that the RCMP were exaggerating by saying that crossing at the border would be more efficient. He said "they're scared to death" "they're terrified of losing their kids" and "I'm on their side". He finished up his cigarette with "I hate Trump" then left advising us that more were on the way later that day...
At 4:15 pm a taxi arrived delivering a woman from Pakistan with her 3 year old son. After they were escorted into the building the taxi driver called her husband in New York to say that they'd arrived at Roxham and crossed over. The other passenger was a young Nigerian woman who'd been crying because she didn't have money. The taxi driver said he brought her anyway and claimed that he's "the only honest taxi driver". This time the officers were even more explicit in suggesting that people go to the border crossing at Lacolle, but they didn't hesitate to step into Canada at Roxham.
Altogether we gave out 2 finger puppets and 4 bracelets.
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.