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Closing Roxham Road ‘a rash decision:’ Bridges not Borders

The border between Canada and the United States is now closed to all non-essential traffic, including the flow of people who have until now been crossing irregularly into Canada at Roxham Road.  Ottawa confirmed on March 20 that while this measure is a temporary response to the pandemic and will be lifted when the border reopens, in the meantime those who come to Roxham Road will be returned to the U.S.
Bridges not Borders, the Hemmingford-based organization in support of refugees who cross at nearby Roxham Road, issued a statement criticizing the government for having “chosen to abandon the safe and prudent plan they had introduced, which was to place all irregular asylum-seekers into mandatory quarantine for 14 days.”
The closure of this relatively safe crossing point (which is not an official customs and immigration post) will likely mean people will try to cross at other places while potentially endangering their lives, the group says. As such, Bridges not Borders is concerned this policy will see the RCMP having to carry out policing and rescue missions along the border. “It is much safer to enable people to cross at one place and then be taken in charge, especially during a pandemic.” (S.R.)

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