Ah, the Victoria Day long weekend. Traditionally, the first weekend of the year when summer residents come back to the Point, throw open their cabin’s windows to catch the breeze, heave a big sigh of relief, sit back to relax and say, “Oh, Point Roberts, we are glad to be back!”
That’s not what they said this year. What a lot of them said would be unprintable in this newspaper because of what they had to go through to get to their cabins had them steaming and frustrated as they sat in a lineup for hours to get through the border.
The All Point Bulletin reached out through social media to ask people about their experience crossing the border after hearing a number of complaints. Here is what some of them said (their names are withheld by request):
“Thank you for asking for feedback. I am a Canadian and do not yet have NEXUS. The last four weekends have been terrible for border lineups heading into Point Roberts. May long weekend I decided to come later Friday evening when most Friday people would be across already. I arrived around 8:15 p.m. and the lineup was way down the hill. I didn’t get across until after 10 p.m. Aside from the obvious frustration, it’s causing serious harm to Point Roberts businesses.”
“The line was just past the driveway to the last development on the right. Usually that would be about 40-45 minutes. I got there at 8:05-ish – I didn’t get to my house on Burns Way till almost 9:45. It makes no sense to me at all that they would have one lane open on the first busy weekend of the summer. It was the longest wait I’ve had since just after 9/11 and that is saying something!”
“This weekend’s treatment of people on the U.S. side seemed completely different. It was the main dinner topic of all the families we know. From having trunks opened, to being sent into the office, to being shouted at, the stories were consistently discouraging.”
“Friday evening I arrived at the border at 8 p.m. and the lineup was about one third of the way down the hill. I am Canadian and have a Nexus card, but realized that the Nexus lane was closed, which is clearly posted along the road (open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.). It took 1.5 hours to get to the border window, because ass––e Canadians kept flying up the empty Nexus lane, finding the lane closed – Duh! – and butting in at the front of the line. Not how Nexus works, you stupid jerks!”
“Why would the U.S. want to discourage commerce in Point Roberts? It doesn’t make sense. Why would they discourage business from visitors? It doesn’t make sense. It’s disgraceful.”
Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce president Brian Calder emailed U.S. Senator Patty Murray on Saturday, May 20 to describe the situation, writing, “Senator Murray, [We] appeal for your assistance to rescue the current devastation and desperate future economic outlook for Point Roberts Washington.”
A request for comment from CBP was not received before going to press.
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