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article imageBackpacker arrested for remaining in U.S half hour too long

By Jeannie Stokowski-Bisanti     Jul 4, 2014 in Politics
A South American backpacker visiting the United States was locked in federal detention after reportedly over-extending his stay by 30 minutes. Diego Simonassi said he roamed freely with just a backpack in the United States for six months.
On June 14, when his time was up, he tried to enter Canada to continue his trip. He was unaware that he needed a visa to get through the border.
Canadian authorities turned him back to the US side 30 minutes past midnight where
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized Simonassi and transported him 145 miles south to the NW Detention Center in Tacoma, where he was held.
Immigration attorney Steve Tanijo who offered to take the case for free said that ICE offered to let Simonassi out on a $7,500 bond — money that Simonassi did not have. Simonassi could have also offered to pay for a one-way flight back to Uruguay.
Simonassi was willing to sit in confinement until he could legally get on with his trip through North America but was released from federal detention Thursday evening. He has been given a 30-day extension on his visa.
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