Cedella Roman, 19, was reportedly detained after accidentally crossing the U.S. border in South Surrey. (Cedella Roman/Facebook)

Cedella Roman, 19, was reportedly detained after accidentally crossing the U.S. border in South Surrey. (Cedella Roman/Facebook)

Jogger who crossed U.S. border accidentally a warning to Canadians: expert

Cedella Roman, 19, was detained for two weeks in the United States

A Washington state immigration lawyer says a case of a French teenager who reportedly crossed from Canada into the United States by accident and was detained for two weeks should serve as a warning to Canadians.

Len Saunders says while there are aspects of her case that are unique, it should still serve as a reminder for Canadians to be careful along border crossings.

Cedella Roman, a 19-year-old French citizen, could not be reached for comment but she told CBC she was visiting her mother in B.C. and was jogging near the border when she inadvertently crossed into the U.S. on May 21.

In an email statement, the Department of Homeland Security confirms Roman was arrested by Border Patrol agents in Blaine, Wash., where she was not carrying any identification.

It referred questions about her detention to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Saunders says the woman’s French citizenship likely complicated things, as she could not simply be deported to Canada.

He says, typically, joggers or dog-walkers don’t stray so far into the U.S. before they’re stopped and given a warning.

But he says the beach where the woman reportedly was lost has no border signs, so the mistake is understandable and the length of time she says she was detained seems excessive.

The Canadian Press


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