A run is supposed to be something to clear your mind, especially when doing so in a foreign place. For many, getting out and seeing nature is peaceful, relaxing, and allows you to absorb the beauty of a new city. This was the goal for one young woman traveling to Canada to spend time with her mother.
She desired picturesque sights to snap a few photos to document her trip on social media and she thought she had chosen the perfect place for it. However, there was one issue. She unknowingly ran into a problem during her run, one that she couldn’t talk her way out of. What happened next took weeks to resolve and turned her trip into a nightmare…
White Rock, British Columbia
The coast of White Rock, British Columbia is a beautiful place. Known for its idyllic views of Semiahmoo Bay and waterfront homes and restaurants, visitors there can enjoy the sandy beach or walk along the pier. It’s also the perfect spot for a jog along the water.
Running Into A Problem
A 19-year-old woman put on her running shoes and headed out for a jog. Roman, from France, was visiting her mother who lived nearby in North Delta, Canada. During her run, she admired the gorgeous scenery when she unwittingly ran into a big problem…
Crossing Into The United States From Canada
As Roman ran southeast along the beach on the evening of May 21, she crossed a municipal boundary and soon after, an international border. However, she didn’t see any signs indicating that she was about to cross into the United States from Canada.
But it turns out that the demarcation line between the two countries is only about three miles down the coast from the pier. Roman, unaware as to what she had just done, walked onto a dirt path and stopped to take a photo of the picturesque setting, only to turn around and find two officers behind her…
Illegally Crossing The Border
As she turned around to head back to her mother’s house, officers approached her and told her she had crossed the border illegally. Roman told an officer she didn’t do it on purpose and that she didn’t understand what was happening. Except, it was too late.
Unaware Of What Was Going To Happen Next
Roman was asked to show police proof of identification or proof of citizenship, but of course, she didn’t bring these items with her on a jog. Still, she figured that Border Patrol officers would simply let her go with a warning…
Treating Her Like A Criminal
Instead, Roman was put in a caged vehicle and brought her to their facility. There, they asked her to remove all of her personal belongings, including her jewelry. “They searched me everywhere,” Roman said. It was only then that she realized how serious the situation was.
Calling Her Mother
When she reached the center, she contacted her mother, Christiane Ferne, who soon arrived with Roman’s passport and study permits. But, the workers said that the documents would have to be verified by Canadian authorities and it could be a lengthy process…
Border Patrol wound up arresting Roman on May 21 and processed her as an “expedited removal.” Then, on May 22, she was taken to ICE’s Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, about 140 miles from the border point where she had been arrested.
The Peace Arch
Officers believed that she crossed the border near the Peace Arch, a 67-foot concrete monument that is known as “the world’s first monument dedicated to Peace.” It straddles the U.S.-Canada border and it’s inscribed with the words, “CHILDREN OF A COMMON MOTHER” on one side and “BRETHREN DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY” on the other. Its main purpose is to celebrate the friendship between the two countries, but here’s where Roman ran into a problem…
The problem now was that once the U.S. Border Patrol transfers an individual to ICE custody for expedited removal to Canada, ICE must review the case and receive permission from the Canada Border Services Agency. This process can take several days, especially when the individual is a third-country national.”
Supplying Officials With The Necessary Documents
Despite Roman’s mother having sent her daughter’s travel documents to ICE, they claimed they didn’t receive them until May 24. After that, the Canadian Border Services Agency notified ICE on May 29 that “it would be willing to determine admissibility if [Roman] was returned to the Canadian Port of Entry. Roman’s mom was distraught, referring to her daughter’s arrest as a “trap.” She said…
A Mother’s Panic
“It’s like a trap…anybody can be caught at the border like this,” said Ferne. She gave Roman’s documents including her passport and study permits, yet still, she was told that she’d have to wait to see if her daughter was eligible to be discharged back to Canada.
This process wound up taking two weeks, where Roman remained in custody for the entire time. Ferne visited her daughter several times while she was detained and she says the detention was unfair because there were no signs warning pedestrians of the international border. U.S. government officials said…
U.S. Officials Say Roman’s Treatment Was Processed Accordingly
U.S. government documents confirm that Roman was discharged from the U.S. on June 6 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that “anyone who enters the U.S. outside an official port of entry and without inspection has crossed the border illegally, and will be processed accordingly.”
They continued, “It is the responsibility of an individual traveling 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 near the border to carry identification at all times so that agents or officers can easy verify identity.” There’s one thing, however, that Roman believes made her situation worse…
Because She Is A Citizen Of France?
Roman originally came to Canada to visit her mother and work on her English, but after this, the trip took on a new meaning. She believes that because she wasn’t a citizen of the country that the process was much more grueling than it needed to be.
The Border Isn’t Marked In The Traditional Way
Additionally, she protested that she hadn’t seen any warning signs, therefore, she couldn’t have anticipated how serious the matter would become. According to the Province, the Canadian-U.S. border “isn’t marked in the traditional way.” Areas of the border include “no-touch zones.” Basically…
Unsure If Roman Will Be Allowed Back Into The U.S.
Now, Roman’s family is unsure if she’ll be allowed back into the United States. According to her Facebook page, Cedella Roman says she is originally from the town of Briancon, France, in the southeastern part of the country close to the Italian border.
Know Where You Are
After her story received widespread recognition, some are saying that when you go out for a run, you should have a good awareness of where you are. The Bellingham Herald wrote, “the moral of the story is when you go out for a run, walk or hike, know where you are- exactly where you are.” We couldn’t agree more. Research absolutely needs to be done beforehand so you literally don’t run into a situation like this.
Leisurely Jog On Vacation Turns Into Nightmare For Teen When Authorities Tell Her What She’d Done is an article from: LifeDaily