‘TRAUMATISED’ British couple and their three-month-old baby have been arrested and held in a US jail after accidentally straying across the border from Canada when they ‘swerved to avoid hitting an animal’
A British family-of-seven visiting Canada were arrested in the US on October 3 after accidentally crossing into American territory when they took a wrong turn and were arrested as illegal immigrants.
David Connors, 30, and Eileen Connors, 24, from London together with their three-month-old son were detained along with David’s brother Michael Connors, his wife Grace and their two-year-old twin girls.
The family’s attorney Bridget Cambria, of Aldea – The People’s Justice Centre, filed a complaint on behalf of the family with the inspector general of the US Department of Homeland Security.
The family claim they were visiting Vancouver earlier on this month when Michael swerved to avoid hitting an animal, taking them on to a country road out of Canada into America where border police arrested them and put them on a flight to a deportation centre seven hours away from Pennsylvania.
Mrs Connors said: ‘It was like an abduction or kidnapping. We will be traumatised for the rest of our lives by what the United States government has done to us’.
Michael turned onto an unmarked road and within moments, multiple police cars and Border Patrol agents appeared.
‘You crossed an international border,’ the officer told them.
The two men were immediately arrested despite declaring their innocence.
‘They had no idea they had crossed any boundary,’ Cambria, the family’s attorney said on Monday. ‘They had no idea they were even in the United States. They were just trying to get back to their hotel.’
Cambria said it’s likely the family will be formally deported, but no paperwork has been shared with them or their lawyers.
Eileen Connors’ statement declares: I feel like someone is going to take my baby,’
‘We have been treated like criminals here, stripped of our rights, and lied to. It is not right,’ Eileen wrote. ‘We have been traumatised. This would never happen in the United Kingdom to U.S. citizens, or anyone else, because people there are treated with dignity.’
US officials have denied the family’s version of events.
ICE Official said: ‘Eileen Connors and David Connors are currently in ICE custody at the Berks Family Residential Centre (BFRC).
‘BFRC provides a safe and humane environment for families as they go through the immigration process.
‘BFRC supports all sanctioned local, state, and federal investigations into the safety and welfare of our residents.
‘Reporters of abuse or inhumane conditions at BFRC are unequivocally false