Australian tourist, 26, detained in the US for overstaying his visa by ONE HOUR – ‘after immigration officers kept him waiting at the border’.
An Australian traveler has been detained by American immigration authorities after he overstayed on his visa by just one hour.
Canberra man Baxter Reid, 26, and his American girlfriend, Heather Kancso, were travelling to the Canadian border when they were met with border patrol agents, who gave the couple ‘a hard time’ according to Ms Kancso.
‘They spent hours asking us remedial questions and giving us the run around, with hours of dead time in between.’
Mr Reid had been on his way to Canada as part of his five-year visa requirements, which means he must leave the U.S. every six months while it’s renewed.
But Ms Kancso claims after the couple waited more than four hours with border patrol, Mr Reid was arrested by US border police, because he violated his visa agreement by a single hour.
The 26-year-old was taken to Buffalo Federal Detention Centre, where he could be waiting up to six months while waiting for a judge to hear his case.
‘This is a man who has no prior incidents with the law, not in the US or his native Australia,’ his girlfriend wrote on the GoFundMe page raising money for his legal fees.
‘Now, because of bureaucracy and an unwillingness to listen to him he is being charged as felon under random immigration laws.
‘Imagine going out of your way to comply with the law, and having the people who are meant to uphold it sabotage you and turn you into the criminal.’
Mr Reid’s father, Tom Reid, told the Canberra Times that the couple arrived at the Canadian border at 10:00pm on Saturday.
The 26-year-old’s visa was due to expire at midnight.
‘For some reason the Canadians kept them until 1.30am and then they refused them entry,’ he said.
‘They returned them to the United States and by then they were an hour and a half over the visa, and [he] got locked up.’
Ms Kansco says she and her partner managed to stay calm during the ordeal, but since then she hasn’t been able to stop crying.
Now they must wait two to three before Mr Reid gets a date to appear.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to the Canberra Times that they were providing assistance to an Australian man detained in the US, but couldn’t provide further details citing privacy reasons.