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Roxham Road – A trip to the Twilight Zone

May 2018

On a recent road-trip, I made my way to the now infamous Roxham Road, the now-officially-designated unofficial Point-of-Entry straddling the Canada-American border at Quebec and New York State where economic migrants come to make their refugee claims in contravention of the Safe Third Country Agreement.

As I was already in the States, I headed to the American side first. I was quickly spotted by one of the half-dozen or so RCMP officers standing beside the new permanent building still under construction.

I parked my car and got out with my camera. I waved to the officers while keeping a respectful distance from the border. One of the officers slowly walked towards their side of the border and I said to him that I was Canadian, that I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about and would cross legally. He seemed satisfied and walked away.

I took a few pictures and then got back into my car to wait to see if any migrants would arrive. After a short period, another officer walked towards the border and I repeated the same as before. I jokingly asked her if they’d had a lot of “customers” today and she replied that she wasn’t allowed to give any details. She then walked away.

After a short wait, I headed to the legal Point-of-Entry and headed to the Canadian side of Roxham Road. As I was heading out of the Customs Plaza, I saw a plain, blue SUV turn off Montée Glass, the road that heads towards Roxham Road, and turn into the plaza and drive past me. I noticed two CBSA officers inside. If they had just come from Roxham Road this would be significant as it would be an acknowledgement that it’s now considered a legal Point-of-Entry.  If it’s now a legal entry point, then the migrants should be turned back and not allowed entry to Canada as specified in the Safe Third Country Agreement.

After driving a short distance along Roxham Road, I could see two large SUVs parked at the end of the road at the border point. As I felt there was no good spot to park close to the border, I parked in a farm lane a significant distance back, not wanting to piss off the RCMP any more than I already had.

As I was sitting there, an elderly couple drove up and stopped beside me, thinking I was a cop. I told them I was doing the same thing they were doing and suggested they not go any further than I had as I suspected the RCMP were g