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.
It was a warm and sunny afternoon when we arrived at Roxham at 3pm.
Shortly after arriving we were accosted (across the border) by one of the RCMP officers who quite aggressively gave us a long lecture about not giving out hats, mitts etc and stuffed animals to children because of problems with bed bugs and COVID contamination. Stuffed animals that were not placed inside luggage before crossing would be taken from children and disposed of. Of course this would be upsetting for children. It did not make a lot of sense and we have since asked for clarification from the officer in charge of Roxham, as to whether this is official policy. Our friends from Plattsburgh Cares do give out stuffed animals and report that children respond very positively to this gesture.
Shortly thereafter a small family from Zimbabwe arrived – the woman was carrying a small baby on her shoulder. We explained that they would be arrested but this was temporary. The man looked alarmed and said they had had a very long and difficult journey to get there. This same officer spoke harshly to them at the border’s edge. The man looked back uncertainly and then they crossed over and were ushered into the tent. We were able to see the officer using a metal detector to check the family members.
We then waited until nearly 4.30 pm when three taxis arrived at once. One taxi brought a friendly Nigerian woman with a young child under 2 in a push chair. She was very fearful and seemed to appreciate the reassurances we gave her. We helped her bring her luggage to the borders edge. Two officers dealt with them in a quiet respectful way and helped her with her luggage.
Another taxi brought three individuals: a Turkish woman in her late 20s, a man from Columbia and a man from Yemen. The officer first mentioned above spoke harshly to them and they crossed over to wait outside the tent.
The last taxi brought three adults and two children: a couple with a toddler aged about 2 or 3 and a Haitian woman with a very small baby in a car seat. There was a certain amount of chaos by this time and they crossed over without incident.
Officers were taking people with children first inside the tent so those without children waited sometime outside before they were brought inside the tent.
In total we saw 13 people today - 9 adults and four children.
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.