British family decries treatment by US after border crossing

Seven members of an extended British family who made an unauthorized border crossing into the United States from Canada are being held in federal custody at a Pennsylvania detention center nearly two weeks after their arrest.

The family says they mistakenly crossed the border into Washington state while trying to avoid an animal in the road. An affidavit says family members have been “treated like criminals” by their U.S. jailers, forced to bide their time in a series of cold and unsanitary immigration facilities as they await deportation to England.

Their attorney has lodged a formal complaint over the family’s treatment with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general and civil rights office.

U.S. officials assert the family crossed the border on purpose. They say two of the family members had previously been denied entry to the U.S.