An Australian tourist has been arrested by US authorities for overstaying his US Visa by 90 minutes.
Baxter Reid, a 26-year old Australian tourist from Canberra, and his American girlfriend Heather Kansco, travelled to the Canadian border in the state of New York. Once they tried to cross over into Canada, Reid was detained and imprisoned by US Immigration service.
When speaking about the incident, the couple explained that the reason why they overstayed their Visa is because of two things. First, their car broke down and they spent several hours trying to fix it. Secondly, once they arrived to the Canadian border at 10 PM April 23, they were denied entry by Canadian border police, and were forced to go back into the United States.
“We returned to the US side, hoping that after a couple of hours, we will be granted access to Canada”, Reid said during an interview. But by the time they tried to enter again, Reid’s US Visa had become expired. When they approached the US checkpoint, border authorities decided to arrest Reid.
Reid’s girlfriend Heather believes hat Canadian police feared Mr Reid’s visa would be rejected if he tried to return to the US, making him Canada’s “problem”. She pointed out that Baxter was calm when US officials arrested him and that he just asked if she could sit with him.
Reid is now awaiting trial, which could take even several months. His father, Tom Reid, arrived to the US and is frequently visiting Baxter and trying to convince US authorities to let him go. Tom said that he and his family will pay and do whatever it takes, just to see Baxter free again.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed they were providing consular assistance to an Australian man detained in the US, but couldn’t provide further details due to privacy reasons.