A 19-year-old Australian’s first travel experience saw him being held in a federal detention center in Hawaii for 10 days after he was deemed ineligible for the visa waiver program.
Cameron Carter was going for jobs interview Wyoming where he intended to stay with a friend but was strip-searched and held in a federal prison for 10 days, including eight confined to his cell and denied contact with his family in Australia throughout his ordeal. The visa waiver program does not permit employment and permanent residency.
Despite having a return ticket, Carter, who was supposed to be sent back to Australia after two days, was held for another eight so he could go before a judge, after an immigration officer said he had resisted returning to Australia.
When he was finally placed on a flight to Australia, it landed in Melbourne, more than 750km from his home in Bathurst, New South Wales.
“The experience didn’t put me off, it just gave me more of a goal to reach,” he said. “I am stubborn.”