Rabat - Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) came to the aid of a family of 8 refugees making a desperate flight on foot to reach Canadian soil so they could apply for asylum, according to a report from CBC News.
Rabat – Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) came to the aid of a family of 8 refugees making a desperate flight on foot to reach Canadian soil so they could apply for asylum, according to a report from CBC News.
Thanks to the quick actions of a photographer from Reuters, there is a photographic record of the event. The family approached a section of border in a taxi on Friday and were immediately approached by US border officials who questioned the man seated in the front of the taxi.
Panicked by the likelihood of being turned back, or worse detained, the rest of the 7 passengers made a break for it. They poured out of the taxi and ran headlong into the snow-filled gulley that separated the United States and Canada at that location. RCMP watching from the other side did what they could to offer assistance, lifting the children to safety with smiles of welcome.
According to the same source, one of the adults, a woman who had been forced to abandon her walker on the US side, was asked by RCMP if she was in need of medical care. Meanwhile the man who had been questioned was now outside the taxi, but was still being detained by a US border officer who had confiscated the family’s passports. Their luggage lay in the snow, beside the vehicle. Seeing his family safely on the other side, the man began to desperately hurl the luggage into the gully, getting it as close to his family as he was able.
Then, in a desperate move, he snatched the passports out of the US officer’s hands and made a mad dash to join his waiting family. The US border officer yelled and began to chase the man, later identified as Sudanese, but RCMP officers reached out and grabbed the man’s hands and pulled him to the safety of Canadian soil.
What followed was a brief, surreal stand-off as officers from both sides of the border eyed the luggage and then each other. In the end, the US border officer moved the suitcases to the border marker where they were reunited with their owners on the Canadian side. The shaken but relieved family and their luggage were then transported to a Canadian border office where they began their application for asylum in Canada. When asked about their reasons for making the desperate journey to Canada, the Sudanese man said simply, “Nobody cares about us.”
Since US President Donald Trump’s attempted Muslim travel ban, refugees have poured across the US-Canadian border on foot. Under current law, any person crossing on to Canadian soil on foot is automatically eligible to apply for asylum and remainsfree until that application is processed.