UPDATE Aug. 2, 7:45pm
A Customs and Border Protection official has informed Entertainment Weekly that Peter Bywaters was turned around at SFO for having the wrong visa.
“The claim that he was refused entry to the United States because he mocked the president of the United States, that is absolutely not true,” CBP spokesman Jaime Ruiz said.
Ruiz said that Bywaters tried to enter the U.S. with a visitor's visa. Because he was performing, he was required to have a P1 Visa. He also confirmed that the CPB has the authority to determine whether an artist's work is entertainment or freedom of expression, or a legitimate threat to the United States.
The band has yet to respond to the CPB's statement.
A singer for a British punk band was detained at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Saturday for several hours before being sent back to England, and he says he was deported for mocking now-President Donald Trump.
Peter Bywaters, front man for Peter and the Test Tube Babies, who are best known for the song "Banned From The Pubs," was banned from entering the United States, thereby preventing him from performing on July 29 with his band at the Punk Invasion Festival in Santa Ana, Calif. Instead, the band performed with a series of guest singers from other bands on the festival's bill.
A doctored photograph posted by Peter and the Test Tube Babies on their Facebook page
In an exclusive interview with British rock blog Team Rock, Bywaters said security officers pulled him aside for questioning and confronted him with footage from the band's 2016 tour in Germany, where Bywaters dressed up as Trump and mocked the then-presidential candidate.
"I had only been there 30 seconds when the customs and border control guard swung his screen round and said: ‘Is this you?’" Bywaters said. "There, in full view, was a video from last year’s German tour with me dressed as Donald Trump smoking a fake joint."
Bywaters says he was questioned for six hours and fingerprinted before being "forcibly escorted" onto a plane back to England. The airline reportedly wouldn't let him drink alcohol for the entire 11-hour flight, and he wasn't given his phone and passport until the plane had landed.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has yet to make a statement.
As for Bywaters, he says the band will never play the United States again.
Peter and the Test Tube Babies will release their new album, That Shallot, this September. The first single, "Crap Californian Punk Band," features Rancid guitarist Lars Frederiksen.
Watch footage from Peter and the Test Tube Babies 'Jinx Jinx Presidential Tour' below: