Monday, August 27, 2018

European D&D/MtG handcuffed and denied entry to the USA

Anna Steinbauer, Magali Villenue and Titus Lunter were travelling to the USA  on the ESTA visa-waiver. The three artists known for their work on D&D and Magic The Gathering were denied entry and instead hand-cuffed and detained for 11 hours. Their ESTAs appear to be permanently cancelled.

Titus Lunter reports the following via Twitter:

Please help me understand how this happened. :(



  1. 11 hours my friend, luckily not 11 days! =D

  2. Ahh, thanks for correcting me Titus! Will correct this ASAP. Also, glad you guys are okay! :)

  3. US Customs & Immigration can be total complete boneheads. Janet & I got once detained for hours because our checked luggage did not make a previous connection. We almost missed the next leg of our flight. This was entirely deliberate, gratuitous, and malicious, care of a power tripping jerk with way too much time on his hands. I hope my curse rendered him impotent for the rest of his miserable life.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. First I think in the past two decades the border system on both sides of the border have gone off the deep end. It didn't start with the current office holder. Although the blame the more draconian measure being seen can be place on him.

    The basic issue with getting in on the Visa Waiver program is that you can't be paid by a US Corporation. You can come in for business as long as no salary or fee is being paid. Otherwise you got to get one of these visa.

    For example I service from time to time my company's metal cutting machines in Canada. They have the similar restriction on earning money as the US. So I and my co-worker has to show a Purchase Order showing that this is service due under the original contract. If was service that had to be paid for we have to go through a different procedure and we are handed a different piece of paper to show at the border.

    As for the detention there are problems all over as shown by this news report of a similar situation.

    Basically the issue with harsh detentions is the same problem that occurred with separating kids at the border, interpreting regulations designed to handle criminals and terrorists in the broadest possible sense. In pursuit of the current government idiotic Know-Nothing (the first anti-immigrant US party) policies.

  6. Sorry to hear about your experiences Bruce! That guy surely deserved that curse. Thankfully I have only had good experiences with customs officers during my visits to the US.

  7. Thanks for explaining how this works Rob! I heard from other sources that the ESTA wasn't valid for the type of work these artists were supposed to do. It is a shame that they had to go through that treatment since being denied entrance to the US would surely be bad enough for them.

  8. im quite fearful of entering the usa even as a tourist
    also for friends who have moved there to live with partners now having goalpoasts changed since they moved there

  9. Lets just say I had a similar, and perhaps worse experience with what was supposed to only be a connecting flight through London Heathrow about 15 years ago. It sucked and the officer at Heathrow was power tripping, but I guess my point is that the USA isn't unique in this regard.

    Also, as someone married to a legal immigrant, I would suggest that there is no reason to conflate anti illegal immigrant policies with anti immigrant policies. While it is certainly true that the current administration is hyper focused on illegal immigration, it seems particularly odd to therefor accuse the administration of being anti-immigrant altogether, considering the current president, like myself, is married to an immigrant and has children with a former wife who was also an immigrant. That math doesn't add. All I'm suggesting is that, regardless of political persuasions, Americans are not xenophobic.


New Release from Rob Kuntz: The 4th Category

  Rob Kuntz returns to exploring the history of D&D in the year of the game's 50th Anniversary.  I just got an email with the follow...