From the endless bad press surrounding the TSA, to Trump’s proposed Mexican wall, it’s safe to say that the US is a bit uptight when it comes to immigration. Canberra’s Baxter Reid, 26, found this out the hard way when he was arrested for overstaying his US visa by “a single hour”.
The former Australian Army worker had been granted a five-year US visa, on the condition that he had to exit and re-enter the US every six months. On April 23, the last day of this six-month grace period, he and his American girlfriend Heather Kancso drove up to the Canadian border. Although they arrived at around 10pm, border agents allegedly questioned them until 1:30am and then refused them entry.
“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,” said Baxter’s father, Tom Reid.
Border police then arrested Baxter and took him to Buffalo Federal Detention Centre. He is still yet to receive an appearance date, and even then, may not be able to stand before a judge for six months. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed they were providing consular assistance to an Australian man detained in the US. Heather has since set up a GoFundMe to help with Baxter’s legal costs.
Baxter has no prior criminal record in the US or Australia, so here's hoping this case gets resolved swiftly – he has another 4.5 years left on his US visa, after all.