Australian man detained by US border officials for overstaying visa 'by an hour'

'I held it together until they put the handcuffs on him,' girlfriend says

Click to follow
The Independent US

An Australian man has been detained by US border officials reportedly for overstaying his visa for just over an hour.

Baxter Reid, 26, was attempting to travel to Canada with his American girlfriend Heather Kansco to fulfil the requirement of leaving and re-entering the US every six months to keep his his five-year visa valid.

According to his family, he is being held at the Buffalo federal detention centre in New York.

His father, Tom Reid, told the Canberra Times the couple arrived at the Canadian border at 10pm on Sunday 23 April, two hours before Mr Baxter's visa was due to expire.

He said: "For some reason the Canadians kept them until 1:30am and then they 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."

Mr Reid has been warned he could face six months in jail before his case is heard by a judge.

Ms Kansco set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Mr Reid's legal cost, which has received $7,000 of its $8,000 goal in two days.

She told the paper: "I held it together until they put the handcuffs on him. I kind of haven't been able to stop crying.

"I don't know if there's really a word to describe what I'm feeling right now, I'm almost ashamed to say I'm American.

"It just makes no sense to me."

She said the couple had planned to get to the border earlier but their car kept breaking down, with the seven-hour journey from New York City to the border taking 15 hours.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular assistance to an Australian man detained in the US.