Three-month-old baby summoned by US embassy in error over terror
Paul Kenyon mistakenly ticked ‘Yes’ on a visa waiver document, known as Esta form, to a question on whether baby Harvey Kenyon-Cairns engaged in terrorism.world Updated: Apr 17, 2017 17:10 IST
An inadvertent mistake by a granddad led to a three-month old baby being taken for questioning to the US embassy in London over links to terrorism.
Paul Kenyon mistakenly ticked ‘Yes’ on a visa waiver document, known as Esta form, to a question on whether baby Harvey Kenyon-Cairns engaged in terrorism. The question in the document reads: “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?”
The error came to light when the baby was refused from boarding the flight to Orlando, Florida, where the family was going for what would have been his first overseas holiday.
“I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t see it was a genuine mistake and that a three-month-old baby would be no harm to anyone,” the 62-year-old grandfather was quoted as saying in The Guardian.
Then the ordeal began; the baby was taken from his home in Poynton, Cheshire, to the US embassy in London for questioning, an over 10-hour trip that was longer than the 9.5-hour flight time from Manchester to Orlando.
“Baby Harvey was good as gold for the interview and never cried once. I thought about taking him along in an orange jumpsuit, but thought better of it,” the paper quoted Kenyon as saying. “They didn’t appear to have a sense of humour over it at all and couldn’t see the funny side. He’s obviously never engaged in genocide, or espionage, but he has sabotaged quite a few nappies in his time, though I didn’t tell them that at the US embassy.”
The mix-up cost Kenyon an extra £3,000, as the new visa didn’t arrive in time for the family’s flights, the report said.
The grandad flew out to his holiday villa with his wife, Cathy, and his granddaughter Ava on the scheduled date, but Harvey and his parents, Faye Kenyon-Cairns and her partner John Cairns, had to fly out separately a few days later.
“It was a very expensive mistake, but I was hoping the US embassy would realise that it was just a simple error without us having to jump through all the hoops,” said Kenyon.
“If you were a terrorist, I suspect you’d not be ticking yes on the Esta form anyway.”
First Published: Apr 17, 2017 15:25 IST