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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?

SusanneLinder Wed 16-Oct-19 23:40:09

You need to get an ETA for Canada too nowadays so I wondered why they were carrying US dollars instead of Canadian ones , so yeah their story is bullshit.
We were warned by our Canadian family not to get out of the car at the border and wander around because if you accidentally crossed it ( walking), you could be arrested.

Caucho Thu 17-Oct-19 01:26:33

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

Cocoaandbedsocks Thu 17-Oct-19 03:29:45

They have arrived back in the U.K. Here's hoping they don't now appear on every reality tv show going!

babbi Thu 17-Oct-19 04:04:41

Absolutely correct ... 99 % of the time in these situations UK citizens are just accepted back into Canada .
My Canadian aunt took myself and a friend over the border once many years ago ... before ESTAs but an old fashioned Visa was required for UK citizens to enter the US ...
My aunt tried to pass us off as her daughters .... very broad Scottish accents 😂....
border patrol on both sides just laughed and told her not to try that again and advised that we could have applied for visas within Canada to come over !

Canadian Border control even gave us free Coca Cola while we were waiting for our passports to be stamped and cleared to re enter Canada 🇨🇦.... definitely agree there is way more to this story ...

And you cannot cross by accident there ... ( we knew what we were doing too )

maddiemookins16mum Thu 17-Oct-19 06:05:13

They’ll be on GMTV with PM this time tomorrow, mark my words.

TabithasMumCaroline Thu 17-Oct-19 06:32:55

Moose, cougar, zillions of fucking bears. Suicidal mule deer and herds of fecking elk.
My commute is a bitch.
It’s the fat-bikers and roller-skiers that you REALLY have to swerve for. Tsk.

TSSDNCOP Thu 17-Oct-19 06:38:49

*Moose, cougar, zillions of fucking bears. Suicidal mule deer and herds of fecking elk.
My commute is a bitch.*

You’re so lucky. All we get is leaves on the sodding track.

VikingVolva Thu 17-Oct-19 07:16:41

I'm trying to work out what's actually wrong wth the detention centre.

She is housed in a room with her DC.

She does not like to leave the room because she does not like the others living there. Fair enough, but there is no sign she feels unsafe in her own room.

She doesn't like the food much, nor that meals are at fixed times and if you're not there you don't get fed.

Nor does she like having to wear the clothes they supply (which I assume are indeed gopping) but I'm not sure it comes close to unfair, let alone cruel or unusual)

Gimmechipschocolateandcake Thu 17-Oct-19 07:21:33

Guess who's back..back.... back...
Back again....back.....back


Gimmechipschocolateandcake Thu 17-Oct-19 07:22:01

They're home y'all.....

Dyrne Thu 17-Oct-19 07:25:31

VikingVolva Yep I’m taking it with a massive grain of salt. Conditions are known to be awful but given the inconsistencies of “they took away literally all of my babies clothes” vs “they told me to put a hat on him”; I’m inclined to believe that things like “they took my baby’s formula for 3 days” conveniently leaves out “they took it for testing but they provided something else in the meantime”.

Given that because of their white British status they had the privilege of our FCO stepping in to whizz them to the front of the queue over other immigrant families; my supply of patience for the parents is slowly dwindling to “oh, poor diddums”. And is centring squarely on their children; and the thousands of other families which have months of confinement left and don’t get to come back to the UK at the end of it.

wowfudge Thu 17-Oct-19 07:34:32

When we crossed from Canada to the US by train a few years ago, we didn't need an ESTA as it was a land crossing. We did have US border guards board the train and check everyone though. You had to show your passport before boarding the train in Canada too.

Rainbunny Thu 17-Oct-19 07:43:59

They've released the security video of them driving across a ditch - slowly and deliberately and definitely no emergency swerving involved...

CampingItUp Thu 17-Oct-19 08:45:11

Was the $16,000 USD or Canadian?

She really needs to remove the Insta footage of them driving down the wrong side of the road at 105mph. I did wonder if it was Km ph but it isn’t.

I am just agog that two young families with kids can afford to travel around Canada on holiday since July and still have $16,000 left.

ChicCroissant Thu 17-Oct-19 09:14:53

The security footage just confirms what everyone thought - the story is complete bollocks! They need to stop whining now.

Gimmechipschocolateandcake Thu 17-Oct-19 09:49:46

They're baaaaaaaccckkkk!!!

Xenia Thu 17-Oct-19 10:59:50

The dollars were apparently US dollars and Canada would not have them back once the US had them so there is probably quite a complicated background to all this.

Ritascornershop Thu 17-Oct-19 14:19:17

I assume Tabitha is being sarcastic as there’s zero bloody moose in the Lower Mainland! I doubt there’s tons of cougars there either, come to Vancouver Island, we’ve hoarded them all over here. They may have seen a rat, a raccoon, or a skunk. Hard for them to confuse that with a moose.

Zoidbergonthehalfshell Thu 17-Oct-19 17:29:28

Right... Massive holes in their story...

Not to mention their wheel arches...

CampingItUp Thu 17-Oct-19 17:51:48

"I thought the Americans were supposed to be friendly with the British but I saw no evidence of it.......We weren't allowed to smoke for two weeks either or have fizzy drinks"

She doesn't follow the news much does she?

"We have been treated like criminals here"

Well, yes.

HoldMyLobster Thu 17-Oct-19 18:31:14

"They could just come to the United States with a passport," said attorney Bridget Cambria, who worked on the civil rights complaint that has been filed on behalf of the family with the Department of Homeland Security.

It's a bit worrying that even their attorney wasn't aware that UK citizens can't 'just come to the United States with a passport'. Or that two of them had been denied entry previously.

I wonder what else she isn't aware of? Think they ever mentioned the $16k to her?

maddiemookins16mum Thu 17-Oct-19 18:46:00

They were going fishing?? At night with three wains.
They had all their luggage with them?? The DM had photos of them coming through Heathrow this morning with huge’s like they’d packed their entire belongings and were moving abroad.....oh, funny that.
Looks like the youngest will be gone 5 before he gets to Disneyworld.

TabithasMumCaroline Fri 18-Oct-19 05:48:11

I’m not on the lower mainland. Was just pondering on life in general while I tried to work out if it was a good thing or a bad thing that it hadn’t occurred to me they were travellers. I saw a rabbit this morning as well. Might have been one of those. Before the coyotes got it anyway.,
<disclaimer - not an expert on the flora and fauna of those there parts, but it’s quite lively here. I had to prevent FIL disappearing into the bush after the cougar tour see what it was’ while I wrestled the dogs back onto the lead. Had visions of having to return him to MIL partially chewed.>
That’s why they should have crossed here. Far easier to claim an animal-based intervention. Basically pick one and it would have been fair chance. 🤷‍♀️

TabithasMumCaroline Fri 18-Oct-19 05:51:51

<I mention the rabbit because it was a cute wee domestic affair that makes the place look like the teletubbies are about to pop out from behind a hillock. Although teletubbies leaping out at you would def make you swerve, I suppose.>

mamandematribu Mon 21-Oct-19 14:51:58

Hopefully they feel better now that they are back home

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