If you ever wondered if U.S. officials really paid attention to all those questions on immigration forms, here’s your answer.
A 3-month-old baby was summoned to the U.S. embassy for an interview after his grandfather accidentally ticked “yes” to a question reading, “Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?”
The grandfather, Paul Kenyon, didn’t find out about the mistake until baby Harvey Kenyon-Cairns was refused travel, according to the Guardian. Kenyon had made the mistake on the form for ESTA, which is an online system the U.S. uses to determine if people can travel there from visa-waiver countries like the UK.
“I couldn’t believe that they couldn’t see it was a genuine mistake and that a 3-month-old baby would be no harm to anyone,” Kenyon said.
So instead of going on his first overseas trip to Florida, baby Harvey was brought from his home near Manchester in northern England, down to London for his embassy interview.
Luckily, his grandfather kept a sense of humour about the whole thing.
“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. They didn’t appear to have a sense of humour over it at all and couldn’t see the funny side,” he said.
“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 U.S. embassy.”
The “whole sorry mess” ending up costing about an extra £3,000 ($3,777) and half the family had to fly out to Florida later than planned.
Kenyon also said what everyone is probably thinking about the whole thing.
“If you were a terrorist, I suspect you’d not be ticking yes on the ESTA form anyway,” he said. Good point.