C.B.P. News Release

CBP Officers in New York Arrest British Citizen for Attempted Improper Entry

(Friday, January 16, 2009)

Trout River, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced the arrest of a British citizen who attempted to enter the United States by misrepresentation.

CBP officers encountered 55-year-old Robert Old, as he applied for admission into the United States at the Chateaugay, N.Y. border crossing on January 14. Old presented a United Kingdom passport as documentation to enter the country and advised the primary CBP officer that that he was destined to Gloversville, N.Y. to visit a girlfriend. Old was referred to secondary inspection for immigration processing.

As of January 12, all nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries, such as the United Kingdom, traveling by air and sea into the U.S. are required by law to obtain a travel authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization prior to initiating their travel to the United States. Record checks performed by CBP Field Operations officers revealed that Old had been denied a U.S. entry visa on two previous occasions. Additional record checks also revealed that Old had attempted to apply under the newly created ESTA program, but had also been denied.

During the immigration processing, Old was required to complete an arrive/departure form which asks about prior visa refusals. Old advised CBP both orally and in writing that he had never been denied a visa to enter the United States. Old later admitted that he flew into Montréal and attempted to enter the United States by land to avoid the ESTA requirements.

As Old had willfully attempted to enter the United States by misrepresentation and concealment of material facts, he was arrested by CBP Field Operations on federal charges of attempted improper entry by an alien. Old was transported to the Clinton County Jail pending prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York.

“The newly created ESTA program can determine, almost immediately in many cases, if an individual is eligible for VWP travel, and if such travel poses any law enforcement or security risks