Nineteen-year-old Cedella Roman, a French citizen staying in Canada, was jogging in White Rock, B.C. when she was stopped by two U.S. border patrol officers. They told her she'd illegally entered the United States. Roman told them she hadn't seen signs on the dirt trail she'd been running on. They put her in a caged vehicle and drove her 200 kilometers to the Department of Homeland Security's Tacoma Northwest Detention Centre and held her there for 2 weeks.
Roman said she was able to contact her mother, Christiane Ferne, who rushed to the detention centre to provide officers with documents including her passport and study permits.
Ferne said workers on site told her she had to present the documents to Immigration Canada to determine if Roman was eligible to be discharged back to Canada.
Roman was held in custody for two weeks before immigration officials on both sides of the border confirmed she was allowed back into Canada. Then she was transferred back into B.C.
"It was just unfair that there was nothing, no sign at the border," said Ferne, who visited her daughter several times while she was detained. "It's like a trap … anybody can be caught at the border like this."
A spokesbot for U.S. Customs and Border Protection offered a characteristically sociopathic statement:
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that anyone who enters into the U.S. outside an official port of entry and without inspection has crossed the border illegally, and will be processed accordingly.
This applies regardless of whether or not the individual claims to have inadvertently crossed the border," said the department in a statement.
Image: Cedella Roman/Facebook