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Jogger Detained For 2 Weeks After Accidentally Crossing Into U.S. From Canada

Sunday - 24/06/2018 22:32
Cedella Roman, 19, was arrested on May 21 in Blaine, Washington — half-a-mile from the border.

U.S. immigration officials arrested and detained for two weeks a 19-year-old woman who said she accidentally crossed into the United States from Canada while jogging on the beach.

Cedella Roman, a French citizen, was apprehended on May 21 in Blaine, Washington, roughly half-a-mile from the U.S.-Canada border, according to a statement released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

She had bypassed the Peace Arch Port of Entry, which is visible from the beach, and was not carrying identification, the agency said.

Roman told CBC News she had been out jogging during a visit to British Columbia, where her mother lives. She didn’t realize that she had illegally crossed the border, she said.

“An officer stopped me and started telling me I had crossed the border illegally,” Roman told the outlet. “I told him I had not done it on purpose, and that I didn’t understand what was happening.”

After her arrest, Roman was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody and transported over 100 miles south to Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, where she spent the next two weeks.

Roman initially thought she would simply receive a fine, but quickly realized she was in a “very serious” situation, according to CBC News.

“They put me in the caged vehicles and brought me into their facility,” she said. “They asked me to remove all my personal belongings with my jewelry, they searched me everywhere.”

Roman’s mother presented her daughter’s travel documents to Canadian and U.S. immigration officials, CBC News reported. She was released back to Canada on June 5, according to officials.

“It is the responsibility of an individual traveling in the vicinity of an international border to maintain awareness of their surroundings and their location at all times to ensure they do not illegally cross the border,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. “Additionally, it’s important for people traveling near the border to carry identification at all times, so that agents or officers can easily verify their identity.”

A representative for ICE did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment.

Roman’s detention comes amid the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration. President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that people illegally entering the country should be immediately deported without judicial proceedings.

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