A French national who was visiting her mother in Canada's British Columbia says she was arrested and detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents for two weeks after accidentally jogging over the U.S.-Canada border into Washington state.
Cedella Roman, 19, told CBC News that she was confronted while jogging near Blaine, Wash., by Border Patrol agents who said she had crossed the border illegally and was caught on security cameras.
Roman says she was jogging south down a beach and did not see any warning signs indicating that she first had crossed a municipal boundary and later an international border.
She told reporters that she was detained for two weeks at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Tacoma, Wash., after her arresting officers discovered she had no forms of identification with her on her jog.
"They put me in the caged vehicles and brought me into their facility," she told CBC. "They asked me to remove all my personal belongings with my jewelry, they searched me everywhere.
"Then I understood it was getting very serious, and I started to cry a bit."
Roman contacted her mother, Christiane Ferne, to bring her identifying paperwork.
According to CBC, her mother's arrival was not enough to convince agents of the need for her release, and Roman remained in detention while officials from both countries determined her citizenship status.
Ferne blasted U.S. immigration officials after her daughter's release, accusing them of setting a "trap" and arresting her daughter without evidence.
"It was just unfair that there was nothing, no sign at the border," said Ferne, who CBC says visited her daughter several times in detention. "It's like a trap … anybody can be caught at the border like this."
President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE's "zero tolerance" policy, which mandates that anyone who crosses the border illegally be prosecuted, has come under fire in recent days after it was revealed that the policy led to thousands of children being separated from parents awaiting prosecution.
On Wednesday, the president signed an executive order halting the family separations while mandating that the prosecutions of all illegal border crossers would continue.