US: British Family Says One Wrong Turn Led to ICE Detention Nightmare - - PressFrom - US
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US British Family Says One Wrong Turn Led to ICE Detention Nightmare

03:10  17 october  2019
03:10  17 october  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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The family 's lawyer said these detention cells are routinely referred to as "Hieleras" or "iceboxes." At the facility, Eileen Connors, 24, and her three-month old When she complained to ICE officials about the conditions, an ICE employee offered to remove their baby. RELATED: An ICE detention center

Members of a British family who claim a wrong turn led them to accidentally cross the Canadian border into the U.S. earlier this month were previously 3. As of Wednesday, the group was being held at the Berks Detention Center in Leesport, Pa., an ICE -run facility where detained families are held.

Seven British citizens said they were vacationing in Canada when they had to swerve to avoid an animal, not an uncommon occurrence in rural British Columbia. But doing that proved dangerous in its own way.

a large brick building with grass and trees: The Berks Family Residential Center, where two British couples and their children were held after driving across the United States border.© Mark Makela for The New York Times The Berks Family Residential Center, where two British couples and their children were held after driving across the United States border.

They had turned off the road into the United States, across an international border.

Border Patrol officials detained the two couples and their three young children, who were held in American custody for nearly two weeks. They were deported on Wednesday after spending the past 11 nights in a Pennsylvania detention center, said a lawyer for the families.

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A British Foreign Office spokesperson said on Tuesday: “We are providing assistance to a British They would not be released to family . That night , Connors wrote, immigration agents took the They were taken to a detention center, where her husband was led from the van to what he later described

A British family visiting Canada was taken into custody earlier this month after they accidentally took a wrong The family detention center, an ICE facility, is one of three in the country. It's often described as British family in Canada who say wrong turn led to border crossing mistake previously denied

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“This is how the scariest experience of our entire lives started,” Eileen Connors, one of the detained Britons, wrote in a sworn statement filed to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security. “We will never forget; we will be traumatized for the rest of our lives by what the United States government has done to us.”

According to Ms. Connors, her husband, David, and his cousin were arrested despite their protests that they did not intend to cross the border. They asked if they could turn around, she wrote, but the officer said they would all be held.

A spokesman with United States Customs and Border Protection said on Tuesday that the vehicle was seen on surveillance video on Avenue 0 in British Columbia at about 9 p.m. on Oct. 2. The official said the vehicle then crossed the border “by slowly and deliberately driving through a ditch onto Boundary Road in Lynden, Washington.”

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Seven British citizens said they were vacationing in Canada when they had to swerve to avoid an animal, not an uncommon occurrence in rural British Columbia. But doing that proved dangerous in its own way. They had turned off the road into the United States, across an international border.

British family -of-seven are being held in filthy U . S . jail with three-month-old stripped of clothes in She wasn’t released from detention until early June. A couple from England who was visiting Cambria said it’s likely the family will be formally deported, but no paperwork has been shared with

Fifteen minutes later, the driver and six passengers — including 2-year-old twins and a 3-month-old — were arrested. The spokesman said record checks showed that two of the four adults had been denied travel authorization to the United States.

Canada refused to allow their return, the spokesman said, and the British Consulate could not be reached. Ms. Connors said they had a visa waiver, which entitled them to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa, though they were not aiming to visit the United States that night.

“They didn’t want to be here,” said their lawyer, Bridget Cambria. “This is the only family that has come from across the border who wants to leave. Normally, people who want to come to the United States are in this facility.”

On their first night in detention, Ms. Connors wrote, she and her baby were kept in “a very cold” female-only cell at a Customs and Border Protection facility in Washington. She put her son on top of her and tried to rest. “It was futile because he kept sliding off of me, and I just could not let him lie on the disgusting floor,” she wrote.

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A British family detained in the US after crossing the border from Canada expect to be released and sent back to the UK by Wednesday. After their arrest, the family was moved across the country from Washington state to Pennsylvania, to be housed in a family migration detention centre.

British family -of-seven are being held in filthy U.S. jail with three-month-old stripped of clothes in The family were transferred from Seattle to Berks Detention Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania Eileen said her baby was stripped naked in the cold when his clothes and blankets were taken for

Immigration officers told them the next day that they would be released if they provided contact information for a family member in the United States who could become their sponsor, she said. But after they gave the name of a relative, she wrote, immigration officials said there was a change in plans.

They were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, wrote Ms. Connors, 24. Mr. Connors, 30, was dropped off at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, while she and her son were taken to a Red Roof Inn in Seattle. They were in customs custody for a much shorter period then most border crossers, Ms. Cambria said. “They had an understanding of the language and their rights and were outspoken,” she said, adding that many others do not have the same luxury.

The next morning they were put on a cross-country flight to Pennsylvania, where they arrived at the Berks Family Residential Center in rural Leesport, she wrote. The other adults and their infant twins were taken to the same place, Ms. Cambria said.

The baby had not completed his immunizations, making him especially vulnerable to germs and contagious diseases, Ms. Cambria wrote in a letter to Homeland Security, adding that he had not yet seen a pediatrician.

U.K. family held at detention center after accidentally crossing Canadian border into U.S., attorneys say

  U.K. family held at detention center after accidentally crossing Canadian border into U.S., attorneys say A couple from England who was visiting Canada and took a wrong turn into the United States -- swerving to avoid an animal in the road -- has been detained with their 3-month-old baby and shipped to the Berks Detention Center in Leesport, Pa., according to their attorneys. The baby boy has been subjected to frigid and filthy conditions, developing blotchy skin and what seems to be an eye infection, his mother wrote in a sworn statement. At one point the child was left naked and exposed for several hours in the cold jail, after all his clothes and blankets were taken for washing, she said.

At first the young family say they were separated - first with Mr Connors, 30, in a male-only cell, and his 24-year-old wife and infant son in a women's cell. They were taken on 5 October to Berks Family Residential Center (BFRC), one of three immigration detention centres in the US that can

A British family of seven held in a US immigration centre after 'accidentally crossing over from Canada' landed back in Britain and said : 'Its great to be Eileen hugged mother Mary outside Heathrow's Terminal Three in an emotional reunion after being locked up at the Berks Detention Center in

“We all had to shower when we arrived, but because he is too small to take into a shower, I had to wash him off in the office on a sofa, using a washcloth and soap that I had with me,” Ms. Connors wrote in her sworn statement. “They offered me a baby bathtub to use, but it was filthy dirty and had broken bits, so I refused to use it.”

She wrote that the temperature dropped to 50 degrees at night, and that the staff refused to turn the heater on. On Friday, the baby woke up with a swollen, teary eye, and his skin was rough and blotchy, she wrote. Officials did offer to remove the baby, she wrote: “If we wanted, we could sign papers to allow him to be separated from us and taken to some other facility.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials did not return a request for comment. About 4,300 people were arrested at the Canadian border in 2018, and about 3,000 in 2017.

There are eight families with children under the age of 5 being held at the Berks center, said Jasmine Rivera, a community organizer who is the coordinator for the Shut Down Berks Coalition. The center is run by the county under a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and houses about 90 parents and children.

“It is undoubtedly the worst experience we have ever lived through,” Ms. Connors wrote. “No one should have to suffer this kind of treatment. This would never happen in the United Kingdom to U.S. citizens, or anyone else, because people there are treated with dignity.”

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