Returned to Sender

Kevin here: Cheryl has just called me from SFO, where for reasons obscure, she has been denied entry to the USA despite doing everything by the book insofar as she knows.

(I’ll leave it to her to explain the messy details when she can and to the extent she’s willing or able to do so. I would rather not speculate and would encourage others not to do so, either.)

She apologizes to anyone who was expecting her at ICFA and elsewhere. To be honest, at this time, we don’t know if or when she’ll be in the USA again because it is notoriously difficult to correct situations like this.

Update: 20:00 PST: During the brief period where she was allowed to communicate again on the airplane before it left, Cheryl did Twitter that they’d put her on a plane and sent her back to the UK, so at least they didn’t keep her detained overnight.

70 thoughts on “Returned to Sender

  1. *facepalms for the stupidity*

    Agency paperwork has been FUBR’d before, no matter the country or the intent (I was detained at the Canadian border once — when I was 11!) Here’s hoping it turns out to be of that sort, and will make a wonderful story for the next twenty years. But oy, what an utter disaster — and poor Cheryl!

  2. Bloody infuriating – as noted above sadly it isn’t a trait only held by the US Immigration people, although they do have a bad reputation with a lot of folks. Last summer in the UK foreign musicians who were invited over for a major pipe band festival in Scotland were denied entry despite official festival organisers, politicians and arts figures all vouching for them and showing their invites. We can only hope one day the people who implement these descisions, seemingly at random, choke to death on their own red tape.

  3. Stated my dismay last night on Twitter, but needed to come over here and add my name to those who have your back, Cheryl. Obviously and totally. Should there be a way for some of us to help make this right and make sure it doesn’t happen to you again, I’m there.

  4. My sympathies as well. As per Kevin, I’ll hold off on the outrage if it’s a paperwork matter. (But, still, the increasing amount of paperwork needed to travel…)

  5. My country absolutely stinks when it comes to customs. I hope you can get back to America soon.

  6. Ugh, this is not happy. Since I can’t find any better words to describe how I’m feeling on your behalf, I hope that stands as well enough said. And I hope you can come back at some point because I was looking forward to meeting you at the next Worldcon it looked like I was going to be able to attend — the one in Reno.



  7. This blows. Even if it is just a matter of messed-up paperwork, there’s no excuse for the reasons to be “obscure” — the lady deserves to be kept in the loop regarding her own status, and where the logjam is. This should be transparent. This should be respectful.

  8. That’s just plain rubbish. Whenever I contemplate going to the US it’s bureaucratic nonsense like this that puts me off. Hope you get it sorted.

  9. Fingers crossed that this will all get sorted quickly. However, having worked with US immigration to adopt Katie, and having heard many Stupid Immigration Tricks from Edd who works for our adoption agency, I advise you not to try holding your breath as a negotiating technique.

    We stand ready to write angry letters and and carry torches and pitchforks if needed.



  10. Cheryl, are they saying you’re somehow DANGEROUS???? Well, you THINK, so I guess in some eyes that’s dangerous enough. Hope it gets cleared up soon. I don’t suppose they reimbursed your plane fare, either.
    — Rachel Holmen

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