When coming back to the United States from a trip abroad, everyone has to pass through passport control. For green card holders, this is can be a smooth process. However, sometimes green card holders are asked more questions and are required to go through a second screening process. If this happens to you or your family member, it is important that you know your rights.
--Updated November 7, 2018--
The travel ban is in full effect. What does this mean for you and your family if you are from one of the banned countries such as Iran? What happens if you have a pending case? An upcoming embassy interview? What if you are in administrative processing? We will address these frequently asked questions that we receive every single day from many clients and their families.
If You are From These Six States, You will Need Your Passport to Travel Domestically Starting in 2018
Domestic travel usually meant leaving the passport at home, but starting on January 22, 2018, residents from the following six states will be required to use their passports as identification at airport security.
On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued a new travel ban…again. The newest travel ban is a “presidential proclamation” instead of an “executive order.” In practical terms, the title does not make a difference – it is still a travel ban that stops immigration from several Muslim-majority countries, with a few additional countries added. It is important to note that there is one particularly concerning detail in the new ban.
President Trump issued a Muslim Travel Ban earlier in the year prohibiting travel of foreign nationals from six Muslim-majority countries: Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. However, the Muslim Travel Ban was blocked by courts in various states. On Monday, June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case on the Muslim Travel Ban to resolve the issue once and for all. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in October 2017. Until a final decision is made, the Supreme Court has allowed a limited version of the Muslim Travel Ban to go back into effect.
Border control agents at the airport have great leeway on what they can search from persons to belongings. The 4th Amendment of the Constitution protects against unreasonable searches. However, searches at the border fall under a special exception that allows border agents to have a greater ability to search you and your belongings.
In the age of electronic devices that store nearly our entire lives, the issue of how far the border search exception can reach into our digital world has not been fully settled. Thus, there is no uniform implementation and your experience can vary based on the airport and the border control agent. However, there are some general rules, precautions, and tips that you should know if you ever encounter this situation.
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