The U.S. has detained a cycling tourist and is planning on deporting him. Words fail me.
The U.S. has detained a cycling tourist and is planning on deporting him. Words fail me.
It's a good day to ride.
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They arrested a guy leaving for staying?
Somebody needs a transfer to the Aleutian islands.
Your friendly, local, minor god of information.
Yep ... those Visa laws are taken very, very seriously. It is astounding that the cyclist wouldn't know that.
Obviously he didn't watch Customs on TV before going ... this is one instance where watching TV might have made him more aware and prevented this problem. And it's going to be a big problem for him ... chances are he won't be allowed into the US for at least 7 years, and other countries will be reluctant to allow him in as well.
It is a very good idea to familiarise yourself with the immigration laws of the country you visit ... breaking those laws is serious. And it doesn't matter if you break the laws by a day or a month.
He was leaving, right?
Surely they should have let him go and just marked his records? Why bother to detain him to then formally deport him later?
Seems nuts to me (on behalf of the US immigration), but I agree with a few of the comments that he should have known he was going to get into trouble.
I think the details matter here. How long did he overstay his visa by? Was there other issues with his travels through the US? Did he have any legitimate reason not to renew his visa? If this was a matter of days, with no other problems with his visit, it first should have been seen if Canada would take him. The idea of incarcerating someone, at taxpayer expense, over a trivial infraction discovered as they left the country is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Lorie Dankers says that his deportation has not been settled yet, but his visa does not allow to contest removal from the country."
They are looking into his situation. Once it is decided, he'll be deported.
If you read the first few paragraphs of the article very carefully, you will see that he was denied entry into Canada. That means he had to return to the US. He had already overstayed his US tourist visa. There is no indication that he had a ticket to fly to England after the supposed stay in BC.
Trust me on this. Really trust me on this. The guy has already overstayed his three-month visa. If he has done the diagonal south-north across America, he has probably overstayed by a seriously long time. The Canadians probably rejected his entry based on his failure to provide proof of financial resources and failure to substantiate his "planned" departure to England with a booked and confirmed air ticket.
The relationship with his ride "partner" also was probably identified as being liable to encourage him to stay in Canada over the (rather generous) six-month tourist visa the Canadians normally would grant.
On rejection from Canada, he had nowhere else to go, but back across the border to American territory. The Americans had no option but to look at his record. Hmmm, overstayed his original visa? Yes. No visa or continuing visa to re-enter the US? Nope. Any booked ticket to England? Nope.
The only thing they can do is detain him, then deport him. People who say it is stupid just don't have a clue. Rather, it is the arrogant Australian who is stupid and has no-one else to blame but himself...
Last edited by Rowan; 06-16-11 at 05:44 AM.
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From the US Immigration website ... (looked up and found under 5 minutes, it is not hard to find this information) ...
Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status
•It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Failure to depart the U.S. will cause you to be out-of-status.
•Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and being out-of-status in the United States is a violation of U.S. immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travels to the U.S. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.
•Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authorized--even by one day--results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with INA 222(g). Under this provision of immigration law, if you overstay on your nonimmigrant authorized stay in the U.S., your visa will be automatically voided. In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.
The red bold print is my red bolding for emphasis.
And it is a good idea to look up the visa requirements several times before departure. Countries change their rules, and at a quick skim it looks like the US is one that has changed their laws relatively recently. It appears that an electronic visa is required to enter the US, like the electronic visa required to enter Australia.
As an Irish person who lives in Ireland I'd like to point out that this happens also to U.S. citizens who visit Ireland. Sometimes they are turned back at the airport for not showing they can support themselves(don't arrive with a bike and $100)or sometimes they are told to leave when they overstay. Often they or their friends start media campaigns on their behalf sometimes sucessfully.
I know the issue of Irish 'illegals' in the U.S. is a thorny one and something I hold opinions on that wouldn't go down well with some of my countrymen but just thought I'd point out the other side of the coin.
Last edited by Caretaker; 06-16-11 at 07:06 AM. Reason: to make it bike touring relevant
History is the future
Dunno why words fail the OP... Is it because customs on both sides are doing their job?
Rowan and Machka are 100% correct!
And I would bet the guy knew it.
He has a great big problem now, that will more than likely get him deported and not allowed to return.
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FWIW, I live on a resident's visa here in Mexico. I have to pay for this every year. Believe me, it's very clear what we're allowed to do and what's expected of us as non-nationals. Should I break the law, my rear could be deported in a NY second. Therefore, I do everything in power to make sure I respect and obey the laws. For my Xcountry trip in August, I'm only allowed to be out of Mexico for 90 days (part of my residency requirements). No, I don't need that much, but should I break that rule, I'll be fined. You better believe I have my dates written in blood on the calendar.
Having said all of that, I think everyone would agree that extenuating circumstances aren't a part of this. If the guy had an emergency (hospital) or something similar at the time the visa had expired, then documentation would probably have made a difference. It sounds to me like he just thought no one would notice. In this day and age of computers and 9/11 memories, ummmmm...yeah, they do.
My wife and I overstayed our visa in Thailand. The immigration officials took us into a back room, scribbled something in our passports, fined us 1000 baht ($3/person/day), and released us to board our plane. I think we got the light treatment because we were wearing business suits. The scruffier miscreants were placed in cells. Still another reason to try to look prosperous.
Yeah, I also agree with Machka & Rowan. Overstay your visa in Thailand, for example, and the punishment can range anywhere from small fines, to jail time and permanent ejection from the Kingdom. Border crossings are also less of a right and more of a privilege.
My only caveat is that some of the INS facilities are pretty nasty, and such places constitute an unjustifiable form of "pre-conviction punishment."
However, that's a specific enforcement issue rather than an unjustified deportation.
Oh Yeah...U.S. is real strict on immigration....If they need some guidance,they can start at any Home Depot parking lot in L.A.
If the guys a criminal,send him home.If not,let him go see his sister.He must have some money or capable of making money,chances are good he didn't hitchhike here.
Last edited by Booger1; 06-16-11 at 11:48 AM.
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Who cares where he comes from? If he didn't harm anyone, why stop him?
All this visa nonsense must be very annoying when travelling the globe by bike!
@Booger1: His companions's mother was who they were going to visit. As someone noted, there is a good chance Canada refused him entry due to this connection (suggesting the ability to stay in Canada past the tourist visa period) and the lack of a documented way home. Two years ago my companion and I cycled into Canada for a planned 3-day stay. We got peppered with questions at the border obviously designed to ascertain our long term intentions. Where are you going? How long will you be here? What do you both do for a living? What's your next day back at work?
Not trying to be funny, but if they do deport him back to Australia, is it a free flight for him?
I suspect the Australian embassy will help him out and as long as he has the finances to pay for his own return, they will work this out. I bet he doesn't make the same mistake again.
Due to irresponsibility, the guy's life is now a mess over a visa technicality, trapped in a bureaucratic labyrinth. While thousands hide in the US with no visa at all. I feel sorry for him, and frustrated that this couldn't have been straightened out in a few hours with a lecture, extension, and a fine. No money for the fine? Then detain him until someone agrees to pay for his plane ticket home. Someone besides the US taxpayer.
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Seems unlikely.... Their involvement was probably telling the guy to hire a lawyer. They don't tend to get too involved in stuff like this.Originally Posted by gpsblake