Irregular US-Canada Border Crossing – Latest from The Roxham Road in 2023 – Challenges and Impact

Understanding the Problem at US-Canada Border Crossing “The Roxham Road”

Roxham Road, a remote road in Quebec, which has become a challenge for North Americans in managing the flow of migrants across their borders. In recent years, the number of people crossing the US-Canada border irregularly through Roxham Road has skyrocketed, leading to a pressing issue for both countries.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current situation at Roxham Road, examining the challenges and impacts of irregular border crossings.

What is the Roxham Road US-Canada Border Crossing and How Does it Work?

Roxham Road is an irregular border crossing between the United States and Canada, located near the towns of Champlain, New York and Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec. Unlike a traditional border crossing, where travelers go through customs and immigration checks, the Roxham Road crossing is unmonitored, making it a popular entry point for individuals seeking to enter Canada from the US.

The crossing is used primarily by migrants and refugees who are unable to claim asylum in the United States or not willing to do so. An Agreement between both the countries US and Canada restrict such asylum seekers to claim Asylum at legal entry check-points of Canada. So, they prefer to go through irregular US-Canada border crossing.

Once they reach the Canadian side of the border, migrants are intercepted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and brought to a processing center for a preliminary assessment. If they are found to be inadmissible, they may be returned to the US. If they are eligible to make a claim for asylum, they are released and can begin the process of applying for asylum in Canada.

US-Canada Border

A Look at the Numbers – How Many People are Crossing Irregularly on Roxham Road?

In December 2022, the number of individuals crossing into Canada illegally at the Roxham Road border in Quebec hit an all-time high with 4,689 arrivals. This marks a significant increase compared to the same period in 2021 and is only surpassed by August 2017, when 5,530 people crossed the border.

With a total of 39,171 asylum claims made in 2022, the number of people seeking asylum through the irregular border crossing has more than doubled since 2017, when 18,836 individuals used this irregular US-Canada Border Crossing (The Roxham Road) to enter Canada.

Reasons Behind the Rise in Irregular Border Crossings, including Immigration Policies and Access to Services

The surge in the number of individuals crossing the US-Canada border illegally at Roxham Road raises important questions about the reasons behind this trend.

One of the major factors is the immigration policies and the limited access to services for asylum seekers in the United States. With a complex and often restrictive asylum process, many individuals are seeking refuge in Canada as an alternative.

Additionally, the US-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement, which requires asylum seekers to claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in, has made it difficult for those who first arrive in the US to claim asylum in Canada.

Read More About Safe Third Country Agreement

Another factor contributing to the rise in irregular border crossings is the lack of safe and legal ways for individuals to seek asylum in Canada. Those who want to travel to Canada in order to claim Asylum are usually unable to get visas or refugee status through traditional channels.

Another major factor is misconception. Some migrants may have misconceptions about Canadian immigration policy, leading them to believe that they will have a better chance of being granted asylum if they cross the border irregularly.

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The Impact of the Irregular Crossings on Legal US-Canada Border Crossing and Communities

The increase in the number of individuals crossing the US-Canada border illegally at Roxham Road has had a significant impact on the legal border crossings along the US-Canada boundary.

One of the biggest challenges faced by border officials is managing the high volume of asylum claims being made by those who cross the border irregularly. This has led to longer wait times and increased congestion at legal border crossings, creating disruptions for legitimate travelers, businesses, and trade.

The rise in irregular border crossings has put added pressure on resources, including personnel, infrastructure, and funding, which are already stretched thin due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has further complicated the situation and created a need for a more comprehensive and integrated approach to border management.

Moreover, the irregular border crossings have also had an impact on the local communities near Roxham Road. The sudden influx of individuals has put a strain on resources and services, leading to concerns about security and the impact on local residents.


The Roxham Road border crossing has been a topic of much discussion due to the rise in irregular crossings. This has resulted in impacts felt by both the US and Canada.

Finding a solution to this complex issue is crucial, as it involves the well-being of those crossing the border and the proper functioning of both countries. Collaboration is needed to address the situation.

It is important to remember that a fair and just immigration process is necessary. The Roxham Road situation highlights the importance of utilizing legal channels for migration.

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