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Aussie teen strip searched, denied family contact and jailed in the US for 10 days

Jayden Collins

Published 
| Last updated 

Aussie teen strip searched, denied family contact and jailed in the US for 10 days

An Aussie teenager who had travelled to the United States for a job interview was strip-searched and jailed for 10 days without any contact with his family. 

Cameron Carter flew into Honolulu on August 14 with the intention to make two more domestic flights to reach Wyoming with the intention to interview for a job as a mechanic and a cashier, according to The Guardian. 

The 19-year-old had utilised a special visa waiver program to travel to the States, which allows people to visit for no more than 90 days for a holiday or to conduct business meetings, so long as other requirements were to be met.

Credit: Bayne Stanley / Alamy
Credit: Bayne Stanley / Alamy

However, he was pulled aside by immigration officials at the airport in Honolulu after telling customs officers that he had travelled for an interview in the hope to return to live and work in the country.

He had plans to stay with a friend in Wyoming and was intended to return home on a flight he had booked for October 14.

He told the customs officers he had planned on returning after obtaining a working visa. 

Immigration, however, took that as Carter disclosing to them that he intended to remain in the US before obtaining the correct paperwork.

The officers claimed that Carter was resisting deportation as he had told them he did not want to return to Australia over the fear of ‘wasting money’ on plane tickets. 

The teenager was subsequently thrown into a cell. 

Despite being told he would be held in a federal detention centre for two days and then put on a flight back to Sydney, the teen was instead placed in an area of the prison called SHU (Special Handling Unit).

Federal Detention Center in Honolulu. Credit: Google Maps.
Federal Detention Center in Honolulu. Credit: Google Maps.

He was held for eight days without any contact with his family, and just a phone call from the Australian consulate.

Carter claims he barely drank any water and didn't eat  at all for two days thanks to the harsh, appalling conditions of the prison.

A judge granted him a hearing on his tenth day after arriving in Honolulu.

He was then placed on a flight back to Australia on August 24. 

Throwing yet another spanner in the works, his family were advised the plane would land in Melbourne.

However, they booked a flight to Sydney instead leaving him stranded again and leaving his family high and dry at the airport for a flight that would never come.

Thankfully, a kind stranger loaned their phone to the 19-year-old who was then able to book a flight back to Sydney.

He was - eventually - reunited with his family Down Under.

The story is yet another in an alarming pattern of Aussie travellers who have suffered at the hands of US border officials. 

In July, a woman who had been travelling to house-sit in Canada experienced similar treatment, Traveller reports.

She was detained, fingerprinted, interrogated, and was repeatedly asked if she was pregnant or had ever had an abortion before she was deported back to Australia.

Meanwhile, in June a 23-year-old was detained in Honolulu after having not booked a direct flight out of the United States or bordering countries after planning to travel to Mexico and South America after travelling the country.

Featured Image Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy. Design Pics / Alamy.

Topics: Australia, US News, Travel, Crime

Jayden Collins
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