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Passengers on Domestic Flight Forced to Show ID to Border Officials

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By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Passengers of a domestic Delta flight were shocked when they were forced to show their identity documents to Customs and Border Protection agents after arriving at John F. Kennedy airport on Wednesday evening.

A CBP spokesman told Rolling Stone that it’s “nothing new” to request identification during a domestic flight, a legally questionable claim. 

“We were told we couldn’t disembark without showing our documents,” passenger Anne Garrett tweeted.

The Rolling Stone wrote:

In a statement to Rolling Stone, a spokesperson for CBP said the agency had been asked “to assist in locating an individual possibly aboard Delta flight 1583” who had been “ordered removed by an immigration judge.” The spokesman added that CBP agents “requested identification from those on the flight” but that ultimately “[t]he individual was determined not to be on the flight.”

Rolling Stone asked CBP to point to its statutory authority to stop and examine the identity documents of deplaning domestic passengers. The spokesman sent a link to a document titled CBP Search Authority. The document refers to CBP’s authority to inspect international arrivals. Specifically, it cites 19 C.F.R. 162.6, which states, “All persons, baggage and merchandise arriving in the Customs territory of the United States from places outside thereof are liable to inspection by a CBP officer.” The CBP document adds: “CBP has the authority to collect passenger name record information on all travelers entering or leaving the United States.”(Emphasis added.)

Asked to clarify CBP’s authority over domestic passengers, the spokesman replied that “at this time this is all I have.”

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