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.
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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Immigration lawyer Najmeh Mahmoudjafari, Esq. (ImmigraTrust Law) represents immigration law clients nationwide (all 50 States), globally and also in and around Orange County, including: Costa Mesa | Corona del Mar | Cypress | Fountain Valley | Garden Grove | Huntington Beach | Irvine | Los Alamitos | Los Angeles | Mission Viejo | Newport Beach | Orange | San Diego | San Francisco | Santa Ana | Stanton | Tustin | Westminster