A casual jog turned into a nightmare for a nineteen-year-old Cedella Roman, French teenager vacationing in Canada. Cedella Roman who accidentally crossed the border into the US from Canada during an evening jog was sent to the detention center. She was visiting her mother and jogging along a beach where she accidentally crossed the US and Canada border and was detained in Washington State. She was sent to a detention center 125 miles away and held for two weeks before being released.
It was last month on May 21, when she went jogging just south of White Rock, British Columbia. She stopped at the destination to take a photo of the scenery without realizing that she had actually continued jogging into Blaine, Washington. Two US Border Patrol officers apprehended her and told her that she had crossed the border illegally and has been caught on the camera. She stated that there were no signs marking the border.
She told the CBC, “He stopped me and started telling me I had crossed the border illegally. I told him I really hadn’t done it on purpose, and didn’t understand what was happening to me.”
Roman was not carrying any documents or identity papers at the time and was taken off for fingerprinting. Right after this, she got scared. She said, “That’s when I began to get very afraid. It was like being a big criminal.” She was allowed to call her mother.
Roman was arrested on May 21. Overnight, the US Border patrol transferred her to another immigration detention center in Washington’s Tacoma. Roman spent two weeks of her life sharing a room with about 100 “migrants”.
Roman’s mother Christiane Ferne reached the center with her passport. But the employees at the site asserted that the documents would have to be verified by Canadian authorities.
Her mother visited her daughter several times while she was detained. She alleged that the detention was unfair. She says there are no signs cautioning pedestrians of the international border.
“It’s like a trap … anybody can be caught at the border like this,” said Ferne.
After being apprehended for two weeks, she was allowed to return to Canada. She was released on 6th June. All charges against her have been dropped. But the 19-year-old has been banned from visiting the United States.
Last year, about 288 people were arrested for illegally entering the US from the same region, Blaine area of Washington State.