The U.S. Customs and Border Protection released video of a vehicle they say contained seven British citizens making an unauthorized border crossing Oct. 2 near Lynden.
They were held in federal custody at a Pennsylvania detention center nearly two weeks after their arrest, and their complaints about how they have been treated have been detailed in media reports.
The family was deported Wednesday after nearly two weeks in federal custody, ending an ordeal that family members called the worst of their lives. They’ve since been returned to England, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.
According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Jason Givens, at approximately 9 p.m. Oct. 2 a remote video surveillance system captured the vehicle turning west onto Avenue O in British Columbia.
The vehicle then turned south and entered the United States illegally, Givens said, slowly and deliberately driving through a ditch onto Boundary Road in Lynden.
Givens said the vehicle continued west on Boundary Road until it was pulled over by a Border Patrol agent, who found seven people from the United Kingdom — four adults and three children — inside the vehicle.
All seven were arrested at approximately 9:13 p.m. on suspicion of illegally entering the United States without inspection, Givens said.
The family had claimed they had accidentally crossed the border while swerving to avoid an animal while on vacation in British Columbia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.