A jogger, Cedella Roman, 19, was jailed for two weeks in the U.S. for accidentally crossing the border from Canada, while she was out jogging.
Roman, who lives in France, had been visiting her mother in nearby North Delta, British Columbia. During Roman’s run, she was admiring the scenery when she unwittingly crossed the border from Canada into the United States, reports Washington Post.
The demarcation line between the two countries, it turns out, is only about three miles down the coast from White Rock’s popular wooden pier.
Roman told CBC News she hadn’t seen any signs indicating she was about to cross into the United States but that two U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers approached her shortly after she accidentally left Canada.
“An officer stopped me and started telling me I had crossed the border illegally,” Roman told the news site. “I told him I had not done it on purpose, and that I didn’t understand what was happening.”
Roman — who was not carrying any identification or proof of citizenship with her during her jog — told CBC News she thought the Border Patrol officers might simply let her go with a warning.
That was not to be the case, according to U.S. immigration officials, who confirmed the subsequent events in an email to The Washington Post.
Instead, the Border Patrol arrested Roman on May 21, “processed her as an expedited removal,” then transferred her to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to ICE spokesperson Carissa Cutrell.
On May 22, Roman was taken to ICE’s Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., about 140 miles south of the border point where she had been arrested. She remained detained until June 5 when, after two weeks of paperwork and processing, Roman was taken back to the border “and removed to Canada,” Cutrell said.
When asked why Roman was detained for two weeks, an ICE official indicated that Roman’s status as a French citizen, rather than a Canadian one, may have lengthened the time it took to process her case.