Dispute after American man is barred from UK

An American student has claimed immigration officials barred him from entering Britain because he is Jewish.

Louis “Chip” Cantor was not allowed into the country when he arrived to visit friends and gain work experience.

The 23-year-old, from Kansas, Missouri, was turned away at Heathrow last month. After returning to the United States, he accused UK Border Agency staff of singling him out when they discovered he was Jewish and a regular visitor to Israel.

Mr Cantor said: “I think being Jewish, my Israel passport [stamps], and being an American did not work in my favour. If I was not Jewish and was from Europe, they would have had no problem.”

The UK Border Agency does not comment on individual cases, but the JC understands that Mr Cantor was turned away because he failed to apply for a relevant visa. The case had “nothing to do with antisemitism”, a source said.

Mr Cantor’s father, Charles, said the family had received no explanation from the UKBA for his son’s exclusion.

He added: “Everything was fine until the immigration officer got to the Israel visas in the passport. She took his passport and walked away. He did not see her again and was waiting for an hour. Another immigration officer then hauled him away.”

He added that his son was questioned for around nine hours and was warned he could be sent to jail before being put on a plane back to the USA.

A UKBA spokeswoman said “the highest levels of integrity and behaviour” were expected from staff. Complaints would be “fully investigated”, she said.

Last updated: 12:45pm, June 21 2013