Beach jogger held for two weeks for crossing from Canada into US by mistake (Details)

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A French woman says she ended up being detained for two weeks in the US after crossing the border from Canada by mistake while jogging on a beach.

Cedella Roman, 19, ran across the frontier just south of the town of White Rock, British Columbia, into Blaine, Washington state last month.

As the tide started coming in, she went up a path before stopping to take a photo of the picturesque scenery, then turned around to head back.

It was at that moment two US border patrol officers stopped Ms Roman, telling her she had crossed illegally and had been caught on camera.

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“I told him I had not done it on purpose, and that I didn’t understand what was happening,” she explained to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Ms Roman, who had gone to Canada to visit her mother and practice her English, insisted to the officers she did not see any warning signs, and at first did not realise how serious the matter would become.

“I said to myself, well I may have crossed the border – but they’ll probably only give me a fine or they’ll tell me to go back to Canada or they’ll give me a warning.”

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But things got more complicated as she was not carrying any government-issued identification on her at the time.

The officers took her to the Tacoma northwest detention centre, run by the Department of Homeland Security, about 190km (120m) to the south.

“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 jewellery, they searched me everywhere.

“Then I understood it was getting very serious, and I started to cry a bit.”

When she reached the centre, she contacted her mother, Christiane Ferne, who quickly took her passport and study permits to the facility.

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But the staff there said the documents would have to be verified by Canadian authorities.

And she was held at the centre for a fortnight before the matter was resolved and she was allowed to return to Canada.

A spokesperson for the US customs and border protection told CBC that anyone who enters the US outside an official port of entry and without inspection has crossed the border illegally and will be detained.

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