Cedella Roman, a 19-year-old French woman, was detained for two weeks by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She was arrested by U.S. Border Control after she unintentionally crossed the U.S.-Canada border while on a jog.
Roman accidentally went over the border near the Peace Arch Park in the state of Washington. She told CBC News, "An officer stopped me and started telling me I had crossed the border illegally. I told him I had not done it on purpose, and that I didn't understand what was happening."
At the time of the arrest, Roman did not have travel permits or any government-issued ID. "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."
The woman was detained from May 21 to June 6. She spent most of that time at ICE’s Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. Her mother, Christiane Ferne, was able to visit her several times. She brought her daughter's documentation, so it is not clear why she was detained for such a long period of time.
"It was just unfair that there was nothing, no sign at the border," Ferne said. "It's like a trap…anybody can be caught at the border like this."
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told CBC in a statement, "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. 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."
While most of the nation's focus on ICE is set on the detention of children and separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico Border, it is important to note that ICE can affect folks from across the country and beyond. According to a report by USA Today, ICE has arrested 4,143 undocumented immigrants without a criminal record each month since Trump has been in office.