Dangers of Unintended Border Crossings Leaves Family “Traumatized”

British Couple Says They Are “Traumatized” After Crossing Canada-U.S. Border on Accident

A vacationing British family who crossed the U.S.-Canada border without authorization has been deported after spending nearly two weeks in federal detention, according to a lawyer for the family.

David Connors, 30, and his wife Eileen, 24, say they were driving near Vancouver with five others (including their baby) when they accidentally crossed the border into the United States. The couple claims they were trying to avoid an animal on the road. They were then pulled over by a U.S. agent and arrested. The Connors say they were were not given a chance to explain their mistake and when they requested to “simply turn around” and return to Canada, they were denied.

The family was taken into custody in Washington state on Oct. 3 and then, on Oct. 5, transferred all the way across the country to the Berks Family Residential Center outside Reading, Pennsylvania, where they say they were “treated like criminals” under the supervision of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The couple’s sworn statement says the cells they’re kept in are “frigid”, and staff refused to turn the heating on until the end of next month. Mrs Connors then stated “When I ask how I am supposed to keep my baby warm in this horrible cold, all they tell me is to put a hat on him. My baby can’t wear a hat all the time, he feels uncomfortable with hats and mittens and starts to cry.”

She claims the staff also confiscated her son’s formula for three days, as well as his teething powder, and would only provide “disgusting” blankets that smelled “like a dead dog”. They say the baby’s skin is now rough and blotchy and he appears to have an eye infection.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed the family was in detention at the BFRC facility in Leesport, Pennsylvania. They have released a statement Wednesday giving its version of events.

“During processing, record checks revealed two of the adults were previously denied travel authorization to come to the United States. Attempts were made to return the individuals to Canada, however, Canada refused to allow their return and two attempts to contact the United Kingdom consulate were unsuccessful,” the statement read.

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About VisaPlace Immigration News Contributor - Casey

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