Australian Man Jailed 90 Minutes After Visa Expired

Baxter Reid had been turned away at Canadian border
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2017 11:30 AM CDT
Aussie Allegedly Jailed for Overstaying US Visa by 90 Minutes
Baxter Reid   (GoFundMe)

The family of an Australian man says he's been jailed in the US because he got delayed at the Canadian border and missed a visa deadline by a measly 90 minutes or so. Baxter Reid was legally in the US on a five-year visa that stipulated he leave the country every six months to keep the visa valid, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. So far, so good: On April 23, Reid and his American girlfriend, Heather Kancso, set off for the Canadian border and, after car trouble, got there at 10pm with two hours to spare, says Reid's father. They figured they were safe, but Canadian customs officials detained them for questioning that lasted well beyond midnight. At that point, for reasons that remain unclear, they denied Reid entry to Canada. With his visa now expired, he promptly got arrested by US border authorities around 1:30am.

"They threw Baxter in cuffs" and took him to a federal detention center in Buffalo because he "was illegally in the US for a SINGLE HOUR," Kancso writes on a GoFundMe page, which has so far raised more than $8,000 for an immigration lawyer, per the Guardian. "It just makes no sense to me," she tells the Morning Herald. "I'm almost ashamed to say I'm American." Reid's father says it could be weeks before his son receives a court date and six months before he actually appears in front of a judge. Kancso, meanwhile, fears he'll end up with criminal charges and be deported to Australia and forbidden to return to the US. Australian officials confirmed they were trying to help a citizen detained in the US, but declined to provide details. (More immigration stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.