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Feds: Detained Brits Deliberately Crossed Border

2 of them had previously been denied entry to the US
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2019 4:57 AM CDT
An image from video of the border crossing released by CBP Northwest.   (CBP Northwest)

(Newser) – American authorities are disputing the account of a British couple who say they were taken into custody after accidentally crossing into the US from Canada. Customs and Border Protection's Northwest Division released a video Wednesday that it says shows the couple "slowly and deliberately driving through a ditch" to enter Washington state illegally from British Columbia on Oct. 3, the BBC reports. They were pulled over soon afterward and all seven extended family members in the vehicle—Eileen and David Connors, their 3-month-old son, two other adults, and young twins—were taken into custody. Officials say two of the detained adults had previously been denied entry to the US.

All seven family members, who had been detained at a facility in Pennsylvania since Oct. 5, were sent back to Britain on Wednesday, the AP reports. The Connors say that instead of being allowed to return to Canada or Britain straight away, they endured the "scariest experience of our entire lives" and were held in cold, filthy conditions where they feared for the health of their baby. CBP says they were handed over to ICE because Canada declined to readmit them and the British consulate could not be contacted. The family's lawyer, Bridget Cambria, tells the Washington Post that the video does not contradict the family's claim that they took a detour to avoid an animal on the road, but "further demonstrates an inability to distinguish each boundary" on the dark road. (Read more US-Canadian border stories.)

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