I have a character who is a British national working as an airline captain. He has lived in the US for 12 years. During this time, his wife has died and his daughter has gone back to England to go to college. He starts the story with the intent of settling things and moving back to England but he meets someone and decides to stay after he falls in love. I have in mind a situation where the two of them go to visit his family in London and he is retained at the airport for his visa expiring.
Is this at all a plausible sitation? If he'd worked that long in the US, I'm guessing he'd have to have had a green card. As a pilot with an international route, he would be very aware of the laws (unlike myself). If he had a passport, would they be able to detain him?
I've searched variations of British citizen working in US, work visa, foreign national employment in US. What information I've found is difficult to understand, being written in legalese. I'd love personal experience or a good interpreter of legal statements.