Aimee Schneider, 19, was not allowed to enter the United States last month, on a trip to visit her family. She was denied entry for babysitting her cousin’s children, which is in violation of her tourist visa.
A U.S. customs officer told her, “I could believe you if you were traveling to New York. But who vacations in Cleveland?”
Schneider’s plan was to spend four months with her cousin’s family in Vermilion, Ohio, work on her English, and tour Cleveland. In an interview, Schneider went on to say, “I felt like I was a terrorist. I wasn’t allowed to talk to anybody. I couldn’t call my parents.” Her story has been circulating through media outlets throughout Germany.
According to an interview with Schneider in Cleveland’s newspaper, The Plain Dealer, this is what happened:
According to Stephen Sapp, who works with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Philadelphia, Schneider was denied entry to the United States because she did not have the correct type of visa.
Sapp said, “Work doesn’t mean you have a 9-to-5 job five days a week. If you’re being paid for a service you’re going to provide in the United States, it’s considered work.”
He has claimed that searching luggage and confiscating a cell phone, for the purpose of looking at their social media, are legal means of determining if someone is entering the U.S. legally. Holmes said on the matter, “She mentioned helping out with the kids, to give her something to do.” The U.S. State Department says on its website, “Visitors are not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.”
“I know how beautiful the country is and how beautiful the people are. I would love to come back to America again. The thing is, I’m really scared to try it again, which is really sad,” said Schneider.