Three-month-old British baby questioned by US embassy over 'terrorism' concerns

Namrata Tripathi
Three-month-old British baby questioned by US embassy over 'terrorism' concerns

A three-month-old baby was called for questioning to the United States Embassy in London after the child's grandfather accidentally marked the purpose of his trip to the US as 'terrorism' in the immigration form.

The child's grandfather, Paul Kenyon, aged 62, had planned a trip to Orlando, Florida, with his wife Cathy, his daughter Faye, her partner John Cairns, and his two grandchildren three-year-old Ava and three-month-old Harvey.

Kenyon, however, accidentally marked 'yes' in a section of the immigration form on the child's document. The section had asked whether baby Harvey was travelling to the US for terrorism.

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The ESTA form has asked 'Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?' Kenyon said that he had marked the forms of the rest of the family correctly, but he did not have a clue that he had made the mistake on Harvey's documents, until they were refused by the officials.

"I had filled in the first five forms all correctly, but it was taking some time,' Kenyon said. 'I had no idea I had made a mistake on the baby's form until Harvey's travel was refused to the USA. 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," Daily Mail UK reported.

Reports state that soon after the mistake, the family had to make a ten-hour round-trip journey from their house in Poynton, Cheshire, to the US embassy in London as baby Harvey was called for questioning by the officials. The three-month-old child cannot speak yet.

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"Harvey was even summoned down for an interview to the US Embassy. I really couldn't believe it. I went down with him and his mum and took him in for the interview, but he can't even speak as he's so young," Harvey's grandfather said.

Considering Harvey's visa did not come on time, the child and his parents had to delay their trip, and they joined the rest of their family a few days later in Orlando. Kenyon said that the entire ordeal cost him an additional £3,000.

"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. If you are a terrorist - I suspect you'd not be ticking YES on the ESTA form anyway," Kenyon said.

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