Border Patrol Agents Check IDs of Domestic Flight Passengers Days After President Trump Tightened Deportation Policies
Feb 27, 2017 10:29 AM EST
Uniformed members of the Customs and Border Protection agency halted passengers of a domestic flight, who were requested to provide their identity documents upon arriving at the John F. Kennedy airport on Wednesday night. Known as border agents, CBP officers are generally limited to conducting inspections for international arrivals.
CBP agents made the inspection for the identification of passengers flying from San Francisco to New York by the door of the airplane. According to a CBP spokesman’s statement to Rolling Stone, there has been “no new policy” and their identification request is “nothing new.”
On the other hand, the questionable inspection of domestic travelers comes only days after the Homeland Security department announced its plans of implementing President Donald Trump’s executive order aimed at undocumented immigrants and their deportation.
Passengers of the Delta Flight 1583 took to social media to share their experience upon deplaning in New York. "We were told we couldn't disembark without showing our 'documents,'" Anne Garrett posted on Twitter. While Matt O’ Rourke shared a photo, he also said in his official statement that the flight attendant warned passengers of having to show their papers to CBP agents who were waiting outside the door.
According to O’ Rourke, the agents checked his ID for about 30 seconds before allowing him to pass. He described the incident as “a little bit alarming” while questioning the search, especially since their flight did not come from another country.
In an official statement by the CBP, its agency was requested to take part in the identification of an individual who could have been on the Delta flight 1583; such person was “ordered removed by an immigration judge.” The CBP added that the individual being sought was not on the said flight.
In terms of CBP’s authority over domestic flights, the agency’s spokesman referred to the contents of the CBP Search Authority that emphasized international arrivals. While all individuals, baggage and merchandise arriving in the United States can be subject to a CBP officer’s inspection, the agency is also authorized to obtain passengers’ information leaving or entering the country. However, no clarifications were made on inspections for domestic flights.