Frightened immigrants are creeping into Canada through a quiet border town in northeast New York to escape Donald Trump.

The families are fleeing through the town of Champlain which shares a border with Quebec.

They make their crossing on Roxham Road which leads them directly towards the village of Hemmingford and in to the path of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who take them to immigration offices where they can apply for asylum.

Since Donald Trump tried to implement a controversial travel ban stopping citizens from Muslim majority countries from entering the US, foot traffic on the road has increased.


Residents of Champlain told The New York Times how some families were sneaking over the illegal crossing in the middle of the night to avoid being caught.

"I'm not O.K. with it but I definitely can't blame them," Matthew Turner, who lives on Roxham Road, said.

Earlier this month, families claiming to be from Turkey were pictured being arrested after making the crossing at Roxham Road.

They were met sympathetically by police officers, one of whom was seen carrying a baby in a car seat while its mother pleaded with them. They carried the few belongings they could manage for the journey.

Crossing illegally at Roxham Road gives the families a quicker chance of settling in Canada.

It is illegal for any migrant to apply for asylum at the dozens of official border crossings. If they show up hoping for the best, they are turned back to stay in the US.

But if they cross illegally, they are arrested on Canadian soil. Police then have no choice but to allow them to make a refugee claim, process them and release them.

With this logic in mind, the immigrants deliberately cross despite warnings from Canadian officers not to when they reach the border, according to the Daily Mail.


Roxham Road is one of the holes which led officials to liken the border to a block of Swiss Cheese. There are similar crossings happening in Vermont where families ditched their brand new cars and walked across the border last month.

 A family of three from Turkey arrives at the edge of Champlain, New York. Photo / Getty Images
A family of three from Turkey arrives at the edge of Champlain, New York. Photo / Getty Images

They arrived in Stanstead, Canada, and went for pizza before being arrested.

Their hopes are shared by dozens of other migrants being housed by a charity in Buffalo.

Vive La Casa looks after the migrants while they wait for appointments with Canadian immigration agencies. It is operated by the Christian charity Jericho Road Community Health Center.

Its occupants enter the US legally, often on student visa, and go there to apply for asylum when their legal stay is coming to an end. They can apply for asylum in the US but the charity mostly helps them settle in Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has shared his unequivocal openness to refugees since Trump began adjusting immigration laws.

When the first failed ban was temporarily implemented in January, Trudeau said all refugees 'regardless of your faith' were welcome in his country.

The first temporarily stopped citizens from seven Muslim majority nations from entering the US even if they had been granted a visa or green card.

It sparked hysteria across the country and abroad.

Protests erupted outside JFK airport as the affected citizens were questioned or detained, and others found themselves sent back to where they had come from on deportation flights.

Swift action from several federal judges stamped it out. Trump, outraged by the challenge, vowed to fight back in court but retreated.

Instead he has put forward a revised plan which is yet to be signed.

It drops Iraq from the list of affected countries and replaces an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees with a 120 day suspension.

It also exempts visa and green card holders.