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RCMP to demolish last of its installations at Roxham Road

Roxham was always a popular crossing point for asylum seekers, but traffic skyrocketed when new refugee restrictions were announced in 2017.

There are white buildings and a border crossing sign in the background and a "road closed" sign in the foreground.
RCMP officers guard the Roxham Rd. border crossing between the U.S. and Canada March 25, 2023. The road was closed at midnight March 24. Photo by LARS HAGBERG /AFP via Getty Images

A temporary police station built by the RCMP at Roxham Road to deal with the influx of migrants using the unofficial crossing to enter Canada from New York state will be demolished.

The federal police force will hold a press conference on Monday not far from the installation, which is about 50 kilometres southwest of Montreal, prior to its dismantling.

Tens of thousands of asylum seekers entered Canada via Roxham Road, which was closed last March. The United States and Canada signed an accord that closed the loophole in the Safe Third Country agreement and sealed the shared 8,900-kilometre border.

Asylum seekers have to apply for refugee status in the first of the two countries they enter rather than just at official ports of entry, a situation that led to thousands moving through irregular crossings to ensure their claims would be heard in Canada.

Roxham Road was always a popular crossing point for asylum seekers, but traffic at the site skyrocketed after new refugee restrictions were announced in 2017 by then U.S. president Donald Trump. The increase compelled the RCMP to establish a semi-permanent presence at the site.

  1. A sign advising people that entrance to Canada via Roxham Rd. is illegal can be seen at the Canada/US border in Hemmingford.

    Hanes: New rules for Roxham Rd. risk making a difficult situation worse

  2. An RCMP officer instructs asylum seekers as they wait for processing after crossing the border at Roxham Road from New York into Canada, Friday March 24, 2023, in Champlain, N.Y. The closure of a rural southern Quebec road used by thousands of asylum seekers to enter Canada from the United States hasn't stopped would-be refugees from arriving, federal data shows.

    Months after closure of Quebec’s Roxham Road, more asylum seekers arriving by air

  3. A family of five walk towards the Canada - USA border at Lacolle on Thursday February 23, 2023 in hopes of becoming Canadian refugees. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette

    Dozens march from Montreal to Roxham Road to protest against closing of border crossing