Champlain, New York | Asylum seekers were able to cross Roxham Road before midnight on Friday to Saturday, while the following were diverted to the border crossing.
“I was very stressed. We learned about it along the way,” says Yaya, who met south of the US border.
A relative of the West African man, who left New York around 5 p.m. and received a speeding ticket on the highway, wanted to make sure he didn’t miss his chance.
He arrived at the irregular crossing of the Wroxham Road half an hour before the new treaty between Canada and the United States came into force, much to his relief.
Time was pressing
Around 11 o’clock, about thirty of them lined up like him in front of the reception facilities in -3 degrees.
Men, women and children dragged their heavy suitcases along the dirt road that separated the two countries.
Taxi and shuttle drivers, for their part, were overwhelmed by last-minute requests and multiplied trips.
“I was on the phone with my boss for five minutes and in that time he had 26 missed calls,” says driver Tyler Provost.
This contrasted with the start of his day, which was less busy than usual.
A new identity
At midnight, Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers unveiled a new identity for immigrants.
“Asylum seekers must present their claim in the first safe country they arrive at,” we recall in both languages based on the agreement officially announced yesterday.
How it will be used in practice remains to be seen.
The Journal found that a small family of four arrived in a black pickup truck at 12:03 a.m., crossed the border by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, and were arrested as required by procedure.
The parents and their children were not immediately deported to the United States, but were asked to stand in line with other asylum seekers.
Returned to America
Justin Trudeau argued at a press conference Friday that people entering Canada through irregular points of entry will now be sent back to U.S. customs.
Roland-Luc Béliveau, former mayor of Lacolle from 2013 to 2017, had been waiting for this moment for years.
“I’m here to close the loop tonight, that’s symbolic. But I was expecting a more rigorous procedure,” says the man, who has already recommended the installation of bars on Wroxham Road.
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