I visited the Peace Arch Saturday, a mere 80 metres from the spot on the beach where Cedella Roman became a world-famous international criminal, with nothing but an unfenced railway track separating the Peace Arch Park from the beach a few metres away.
There, I joined the hordes of tourists from both sides of the border in committing the same crime as Cedella by walking under the arch straddling the border, an arch emblazoned with “May these gates never be closed.” None of us were arrested by border agents and shipped to Tacoma, despite a complete lack of signage indicating how far Canadians are allowed to meander into the U.S. or vice versa.
When I was a boy scout, our troop once drove out to the south end of Chilliwack Lake, hiked a well-maintained trail to Little Chilliwack Campground a couple of kilometres south of the U.S. border, and returned the next day. There were no markers at the border, and no ICE agents tackled us, despite the fact that we willfully broke the same law that Cedella did accidentally.
The trail is still outlined on Google Maps; somebody still maintains trails like these, despite there being no legal way to use them.
I’ve cycled along the U.S. border where nothing but a ditch separates farms on either side and seen earthen bridges wide enough for a car connecting the farms. I don’t know what farmers use these bridges for, but it’s done openly.
I’m concerned recent xenophobic fear-mongering south of the border may be eroding these types of trusts that our nations have enjoyed for centuries.
Although I understand the agents’ concern over Cedella’s lack of ID, this should have been cleared up within a few hours by her mom bringing her ID to Peace Arch, without the need for her being tossed into a cage with a hundred other people in the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, a for-profit private immigration prison with a horrific history of violating international human-rights laws.
Hopefully, this heavy-handed insanity isn’t a permanent change in the unborderlike border that’s served us so well for so long.
Marc Ander, Surrey
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Let’s give the U.S. a break on this one!
A young lady, travelling from a foreign country, decides to go for a jog along a very muddy stretch of beach here in White Rock. Are we to believe that she was not aware that we bordered the U.S.A. and, in this day and age, how security at borders have changed?
According to your article, she was picked up on Marine Drive in Blaine. I guess the beach was too muddy for her return run, and maybe if she had turned around on that beach and gone back the way she came, she would not have been stopped?
She is very lucky she was not sent back to France. She had no ID and was not a Canadian citizen.
People have to be responsible for their actions, as we all suffer the consequences. Remember the jogger who had her headphones on and ran in front of a train, and we are all still paying the price i.e. noisy train whistles and restricted access to our once-lovely beach area.
Stephen Mckeever, White Rock