Crew Member Visa Overstay Caught in New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers of the New Orleans Field Office, along with Task Force Officers apprehended a crewmember that had absconded from a Carnival Cruise vessel over seven years ago, and processed him for removal.

A 36-year old Indonesian citizen had originally entered the U.S. on a non-immigrant, crewmember visa aboard the Carnival Cruise vessel Fantasy. He had overstayed his visa, which stipulated that he depart the country in 2015.  

CBP Officers and Task Force Officers apprehended the man without incident as he left his residence in Central Carrolton on the way to his job at a nearby ramen restaurant. He was transported to the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, Louisiana for immigration processing. The cruise line provided a security escort to fly with him to Houston and ensured he boarded his connecting flight to his home country of Indonesia.

“The gulf coast region benefits greatly from the continued tourism the cruise industry brings. However, the success of the industry is intertwined with following myriad health, safety, nautical, and immigration laws, which CBP enforces,” said Steven Stavinoha, Director of Field Operations for the New Orleans Field Office. This subject flouted the limits of his visa, and our officers did an outstanding job of imposing the consequences of his choices. This arrest demonstrates the importance of port security, and the long, patient arm of the law.”

Two task force officers arresting subject
Task Force Officers take the subject into custody

In fiscal year 2022, there were an estimated 17 crewmember absconders from the New Orleans area, of which approximately 7 were apprehended. In 2019 there were 12 absconders, 2020 had 9, 2021 had 16.   

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CBP’s Office of Field Operations is the primary organization within Homeland Security tasked with an anti-terrorism mission at our nation’s ports. CBP officers screen all people, vehicles and goods entering the U.S. while facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. CBP conducts inspection operations and intercepts currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture products and other illicit items, and on average arrests 21 wanted persons a day at U.S. ports of entry nationwide.

View this CBP Snapshot to learn some of what CBP achieves “On a Typical Day.”

To find out more about CBP operations follow @CBPgulfcoast and @DFONewOrleans