CBP officers pulled over their vehicle and told them: “You crossed an international border,” Connors said, adding the officials refused when she asked to “simply turn around.”
CBP say they watched the family vehicle “slowly and deliberately driving through a ditch” into the US, on live security tape.
“During processing, record checks revealed two of the adults were previously denied travel authorization to come to the United States,” CBP told The Associated Press. A CBP official, who spoke with the Washington Post on condition of anonymity, said the family had $16,000 in cash on them when they were arrested.
The seven family members held at ICE’s Leesport facility are married couple David, 30, and Eileen, 24, Connors, and three-month-old baby, and David’s brother Michael Connors, his wife, Grace, and their two-year-old twin daughters.
The family is represented by Aldea, a citizen justice group, who told Insider: “Unlike the southern border, there are no markings, there is no fence, nothing that indicates one side of the street is the US and the other is Canada. It is separated by a strip of grass a few feet wide.”
“We will be traumatized for the rest of our lives by what the United States government has done to us,” the Connors family said in their statement.
“We have been treated like criminals here, stripped of our rights, and lied to.”
The UK’s Foreign Office said: “We are providing assistance to a British family after they were taken into custody in the USA and are in close contact with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”