- US Border Patrol agents captured a French woman they said crossed the US-Canada border while she was jogging.
- Cedella Roman, who had been visiting her mother in British Columbia, was jogging on a Canadian beach when she accidentally stepped over the international border into Washington state in May.
- Roman, who said she had no identification on her at the time, was confronted by two US Border Patrol agents who took her into custody, and drove her 124 miles south to a Homeland Security-operated detention center in Tacoma, Washington, where she was detained for two weeks.
- She was discharged back to Canada after immigration officials on both sides of the border cleared her to leave the US and return home.
US Border Patrol agents captured and detained a French woman for two weeks on accusations that she illegally crossed over the US-Canada border while jogging.
The woman, Cedella Roman, had been visiting her mother in British Columbia in May when she went for a jog. At one point, Roman accidentally crossed the international boundary in Peace Arch Park, the CBC reported on Friday.
Peace Arch Park straddles the US-Canada border between Blaine, Washington, and Surrey, British Columbia.
The US border agents stopped Roman and said they caught her crossing into the US on security video.
The woman had no identification with her at the time, CBC reported, and she was taken into custody.
The US officials drove Roman about 124 miles south, to a Homeland Security-operated detention center in Tacoma, Washington, prompting two weeks’ worth of international wrangling to get her discharged back to Canada.
Roman’s mother, Christiane Ferne, travelled between the US and Canada, with her daughter’s government ID and study permits on hand, to lobby for her release, according to the CBC’s report. It would be weeks before immigration officials on both sides of the border facilitated her reentry to Canada.
“It was just unfair that there was nothing, no sign at the border,” Ferne told the CBC. “It’s like a trap … anybody can be caught at the border like this,” she said.
A US Customs and Border Patrol representative said in a statement to the CBC: “It is the responsibility of an individual travelling in the vicinity of an international border to maintain awareness of their surroundings and their location at all times to ensure they do not illegally cross the border.”
“Additionally, it’s important for people travelling near the border to carry identification at all times, so that agents or officers can easily verify their identity,” the representative said, according to the CBC.
The ordeal happened as the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy got underway in the US, where immigrants caught crossing the southern border with Mexico were immediately referred for criminal prosecution – a practice that has led to the separations of thousands of children from their families.
That policy has prompted collateral chaos on nearly every level.
Roman’s case does not appear to fall under the zero tolerance policy since she was not charged with a crime and was allowed to return to Canada.
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