British tourist claims she was held in a 'cell'
A British tourist travelling to Los Angeles claims she was held for 24 hours, deported and banned from entering the US for ten years over a two-year-old text.
Isabella Brazier-Jones, 28, from Shepherd's Bush, West London, says she flew to the Californian city in March for the trip of a lifetime with her best friend. The two Brits, who met while studying at the prestigious acting school RADA, say they spent £3,500 on flights, accommodation and car rental in preparation for their planned holiday - one month in LA and one month in New York City.
But they claim that their travel plans were obliterated when immigration officials became suspicious about the length of time Isabella intended to stay in the country.
Isabella claims officials pulled her into a back room, confiscated her belongings and scoured her phone - discovering a message sent in 2017, where she had referenced the Class A drug cocaine.
The budding actress and playwright said: "They told me that there was a message on my phone referring to cocaine.
She went on to say that: "They asked if I had taken cocaine and I said yes.
"I was held in a cell with four other women. The TV played constant R&B music videos. It was torture."
Isabella claims she was escorted onto a plane back to the UK by two armed officers, just 31 hours after she landed on American soil. She insisted that she and Olivia, a youth worker, had no intention of working in the US and instead wanted to 'have an adventure'.
Representatives at the US Customs and Border Protection, the Dept of Homeland Security, the British Consulate in Los Angeles and Norwegian Airlines all declined to comment on her case.
Isabella said: "We didn't want to go over there for work but we wanted to have an adventure, see what lies out there, see what the scene was like.
"Our main desire was just to go and have a bit of fun in a cultural environment that we thought might apply to us down the line. "
"Luckily I own a two-bedroom flat in Shepherd's Bush so I put it up for rent to get some money to pay for the trip."
Isabella has since written a play about her experience, titled The Long Arm of the Orange Faced Baboon, and she has launched a kickstarter to stage the play.
She recently told The Sun: "They took against me because I was a posh, white, blonde girl. I was terrified.
"Officials follow President Donald Trump's directions on immigration.
"This treatment is applied to Mexicans and Muslims, but I think the system has gotten incredibly carried away."