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UK Family detained in USA after accidentally driving in from Canada

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PrincessRaven Wed 16-Oct-19 07:48:20

Two members of British family arrested after 'swerving to miss an animal and accidentally driving from Canada into America' had previously been denied entry to the US, border officials reveal.

The family said they blundered into Washington state while trying to avoid an animal in the road on the Canadian side and have since been 'treated like criminals' by their US jailers.

They say they have been subjected to filthy conditions in the Berks Detention Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania, since October 5.

The agency said that border agents tried returning the family to Canada, but Canada refused to have them back. After making two attempts to contact British consular officials, the border patrol said it turned the family over to U.S. immigration officials for removal proceedings.

It comes after footage emerged from Eileen's Instagram account appearing to show the couple travelling at speeds of up to 170kph (105mph) near the Canadian border.

Relatives back in Surrey say they are sick with worry and fear for Eileen in particular who is growing weak with hunger and stress.

Eileen is sharing a small room with her baby son, Grace and the twins and is too frightened to venture out other than to phone home and eat a meagre breakfast.

'At the moment Eileen is sleeping in a small room with Grace and the children.

'When I speak to her she sounds calm but I think that's an act to make sure the kids are ok.

'Inside she's absolutely terrified. She spends most of the time in the room with Tommy because she's scared to venture out.

They were staying in Vancouver and had gone into the surrounding countryside to go fishing.

'They were on their way back when Michael swerved to avoid a large animal, a moose I think, and ended up on a country road which led across the border.

'The first they actually knew they'd gone into the States was when they'd actually turned around and were heading back when they were surrounded by police vehicles.

David and Michael were taken to a detention centre in Washington while Eileen and Grace and the kids were put up in a budget hotel nearby.

'The immigration people stayed with them throughout, wouldn't let them make any calls and told them nothing about what was happening.

'They were there for two days before they were all reunited again at an airport near Seattle. For some reason they were flown to Chicago and then had a connecting flight to New York where they were driven to Pennsylvaniana.

It's all a bit odd, how do you accidentally drive over the border so far that the border force pick you up? (Never been to Vancouver)

Why wouldn't Canada let them back in?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/10/15/british-family-claim-us-officials-kidnapped-accidentally-straying

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/15/eileen-connors-british-family-ice-vacation-detention/

CarolDanvers Wed 16-Oct-19 10:48:34

Please don’t make sweeping judgements about others.

I'll regulate myself thanks @FrancisCrawford. But thanks for letting me know I was wrong about you smile

OrchidInTheSun Wed 16-Oct-19 10:53:55

Why are you assuming everyone knows they're travellers @CarolDanvers? confused

fruitinaheapisnotabirthdaycake Wed 16-Oct-19 10:54:49

@Juells yes you are correct about Irish identity . I am Irish and my dc have British/ Irish nationality. They travel on Irish passports though.

Ponoka7 Wed 16-Oct-19 11:05:36

@Andysbestadventure, is the Traveller community not welcome in the UK?

@wowfudge, there's a court process to follow, no one simply gets repatriated. There may ne past convictions, that doesn't make them criminals, now. Or it could be healtj conditions. Under Trump entry has got stricter. I was reading an article about people with HIV, normal UK citizens, who were being denied entry, even with insurance, because of their status and that isn't the only health condition to be targeted.

The immigration courts in the US have a back log of over a million cases.

I know families who do go to the US with about £4k and I'm planning on having £2k to go to Canada with in 2021. I'm not travelling around. So did they have an exorbitant amount on them?

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Wed 16-Oct-19 11:08:21

Two of them were refused an ESTA and the US refused to let a US relative sponsor them. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the party have been in some sort of official trouble before that can’t be made public.

RossPoldark Wed 16-Oct-19 11:10:18

I can't believe Mushypeas thinks you shouldn't take a 3 month old abroad grin both of mine had flown all over the world before they were one. It's once they can toddle that it becomes more difficult.

Somerville Wed 16-Oct-19 11:12:17

We know their names and that they are British. Anything else is supposition.

An Irish sounding surname does not mean they are not British! angry
And the traveller I’m friends with would not be able to be identified as such be her appearance. hmm

Be sceptical about their story - sure - I am too. But don’t make lazy assumptions or sweeping generalisations in the process, eh? That leads to bigotry and racism.

PrincessRaven Wed 16-Oct-19 11:12:26

Interestingly dm have removed the relatives comments from the story

A relative told MailOnline: 'The Home Office say they should be back before the weekend but they were supposed to be home tomorrow so we don't know for sure.

'We don't know when exactly we'll see them and it's causing the family real heartache and worry.

'At the moment Eileen is sleeping in a small room with Grace and the children.

'When I speak to her she sounds calm but I think that's an act to make sure the kids are ok.

'Inside she's absolutely terrified. She spends most of the time in the room with Tommy because she's scared to venture out.

'They are one of the few people in there who speak English as most people come from Mexico and Latin America and speak Spanish.

'Tommy hasn't had his immunisations yet and already has a cold because the place is freezing. It gets really cold at night.

'They have to wear baggy clothes which doesn't offer them much protection at all from the elements.

'The food is horrible in there. At the moment Eileen is surviving on toast and that's it.

'She says that for dinner they are giving food like mince meat but it's really, really bad.

'You have to be in the canteen prompt for 5.30pm otherwise you miss out and she has Tommy to cater for and it's not always easy to get there on time.

'She's only a tiny little thing anyway, barely over 5ft, and she's growing weaker and wearier. She's having a real tough time sleeping at night and regularly has nightmares - as does Grace.

'We've sent them money but all they can use it for currently is to buy phone cards and ring home.

'Nobody in there is telling them anything. It's the not knowing what's going on which is the worst thing.'

Rainbunny Wed 16-Oct-19 11:15:59

Yeah, on holiday in Canada but found with $16,000 in US dollars - not Canadian dollars. Not dodgy at all...

I will say that even before I knew any of the other facts, just seeing pictures of them told me they were lying. I've travelled around that part of Canada and the type of people who enjoy driving around the country to enjoy the scenery, go hiking etc.. tend to be the sort of people who wear sensible weather gear and boots. They look more like Jersey Shore would be their natural habitat.

I read that they have family relations in the USA so with that amount of cash on them I'm guessing they were trying to sneak in to stay permanently in the USA which is unbelievably stupid given the immigration situation these days.

user1471504234 Wed 16-Oct-19 11:19:12

Even in remote areas (such as the northern border of rural Montana) the Canadian border is impossible to cross by accident...

Rainbunny Wed 16-Oct-19 11:19:48

"Two of them were refused an ESTA and the US refused to let a US relative sponsor them. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the party have been in some sort of official trouble before that can’t be made public"

That's what I thought but then again I'm surprised that they were able to get to Canada in that case? My understanding is that Canada is also very strict about allowing people with any kind of criminal record to visit.

Peridot1 Wed 16-Oct-19 11:22:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Somerville Wed 16-Oct-19 11:26:21

So from their name and how they look I figured they were travellers

hmm

Seriously?

HebeMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Oct-19 11:28:50

Morning, everyone. We've had a few reports and deleted some posts on this thread. We just wanted to pop by to remind people to post by our talk guidelines. While we've no issue with anyone discussing this story, we will delete any posts that are derogatory about the traveller community or break our guidelines in other ways. Thanks.

Somerville Wed 16-Oct-19 11:29:41

Thanks Hebe gin

BlancoNita Wed 16-Oct-19 11:31:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername Wed 16-Oct-19 11:32:29

The Swedish Driving Test requires you to demonstrate that you can avoid a (simulated) moose in the road.
Now I need to do the Swedish Driving Test, to see how exactly they simulate a moose. Does someone run out in front of you carrying a cardboard cutout? How much is the fake moose person paid? What if you're shit at driving and kill them?

Aprillygirl Wed 16-Oct-19 11:33:05

*Although we do have VERY large badgers in Kent, a distinct subspecies of badger called malayan tapir. So your story is entirely plausible.
I was once en route to Asda and had to swerve to avoid one grazing the central reservation. I ended up at Waitrose and was £14.62 out of pocket.*

You made me choke on my apple ffs! grin grin grin

amusedbush Wed 16-Oct-19 11:42:53

All this talk of badgers has reminded me of my dad's dopey 16yo apprentice a few years back. My dad was setting out (humane) mouse traps and his apprentice appeared at his shoulder. He asked what they were.

D: "Mouse traps"
A: "What for?"
D: "What do you think?"
A: "Dunno... badgers?"

grin

BrassTactical Wed 16-Oct-19 11:45:54

Erm I’d like to point out that while for some reason my posts were deleted I was in no way derogatory about the traveller community!! I trade and exist within that community thank you!

Stating you can GUESS a person’s ethnic identity from attributes such as look and clothing is not bloody racist.

If my kids are in their salwar kameez with their dark hair and eyes I’m not screaming racist at someone that makes the reasonable assumption they have are from the Asian ethnic grouping FFS.

Icantreachthepretzels Wed 16-Oct-19 11:46:39

Does someone run out in front of you carrying a cardboard cutout? How much is the fake moose person paid? What if you're shit at driving and kill them?

Surely it's just like when you have to emergency brake on our test grin they don't manufacture an emergency. Surely the instructor just shouts MOOSE and you swerve the car?

Jaxhog Wed 16-Oct-19 11:47:04

Having driven over the border in the Vancouver area several times, I'd say it is impossible to cross accidentally. You used to be able to cross without being examined, by just saying you are Canadian, but I strongly suspect they now check. But it wouldn't accidental.

Two more things stand out:

1. Canada wouldn't allow them back (were they in Canada illegally perhaps?)
2. They were previously refused entry to the US

There is definitely more to this.

Peridot1 Wed 16-Oct-19 11:48:12

Seriously. I make a statement of fact and get deleted.

Somerville - People from the traveller community can have a similar look. Facial features, colouring. Same as certain Scandinavians have similar colouring and features. And various other nationalities and races. On holiday in Greece last year I saw a family who I immediately knew were Irish. Hadn’t spoke to them but knew they were. Met them and yes they were. I’m Irish too. It’s not racist it’s just obvious. Like saying someone looks French or Italian or of Celtic descent maybe if they have red hair.

Cocoaandbedsocks Wed 16-Oct-19 11:49:21

Those of you saying you wouldn't take a three month old on holiday....he was just four weeks old when they left the UK! No immunisations due to the fact that they've spent the last 12 weeks in Canada Highly irresponsible parenting. Not to mention that she has posted a video on her Instagram of a car being driven at over 100 mph with children on board. There's no confirmation that it's them in the car but that's what we're led to believe. sadangry

RubbingHimSourly Wed 16-Oct-19 11:49:37

Bit fucking cheeky being all following the book over this when they're quite happy to protect an American who left a British kid lying in the road. hmm

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