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.
After many legal challenges to President Trump's Muslim Ban signed on January 27, 2017, a revised Executive Order was signed on March 6th. This second travel ban has many similar restrictions as the first; however, some changes have been made as well.
The implementation of the Executive Order has varied greatly from airport to airport, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have or have not been complying with federal court emergency stays and temporary restraining order. Furthermore, the State Department and Department of Homeland Security have provided varying official statements and quotes to the media regarding the effect of the Executive Order.
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