Travel

New Travel Restrictions for New Yorkers

Freedom Tower, Manhattan, New York

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Department of Homeland Security Suspends New York Residents From Enrolling in Global Entry and Other Trusted Traveler Programs

By Benjamin Lau and Susan Kohn Ross

New York residents may no longer be able to enroll (or re-enroll) in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs, according to recent action by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).

On February 5, 2020, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced DHS was suspending enrollment in Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST for all New York state residents.  This announcement does not affect residents of other U.S. states and jurisdictions who may continue to use, enroll or re-enroll in these programs.  No information was provided regarding how long the suspension would be in effect, although the way the DHS letter to New York state officials was worded makes it seems further discussions between DHS and those officials may be possible.  The stated reason for the restriction is New York’s denial of access to DHS of its Department of Motor Vehicle data for immigration enforcement and criminal history/involvement purposes.  An open question remains as to whether grounds exist to bring court action or some other form of legal challenge given DHS invoking law enforcement considerations as the basis for its actions. (more…)

Border Searches of Electronic Devices

Men dress up lifestyle hold smartphone screen shows the key in the Security online world. the display and technology advances in communications. The concept of advancement in living in the future.

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By Susan Kohn Ross

Earlier this month, MSK attorneys David Rugendorf and Frida Glucoft published an Alert summarizing the latest directive issued by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regarding the search of electronic devices. A copy of their original article can be found here – Hold That Call International Travelers. Given the increasing likelihood of any traveler’s electronic devices being subjected to a search, whether arriving or departing the U.S. by air, ocean or land, these recent changes warrant a deeper dive.

First, for those who want to read the actual document, it is CBP Directive 3340-049A. As the earlier Alert noted, CBP has the broad rights to search any individuals, luggage, and cargo entering and leaving the U.S. Searches of cargo are governed by other laws and regulations. This directive deals only with arriving and departing travelers and their devices. (more…)

Tips for Traveling with Electronic Devices

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By Susan Kohn Ross

In the September 18, 2017 Federal Register notice (see 82 FR 43556) , U.S. Citizenship and Immigration made clear it will now routinely require those applying to enter the U.S. to provide social media handles. As such, the obvious starting point for these tips must be a reminder that Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers may require arriving travelers to provide the unlock code to their electronic devices and user names/passwords to gain access to programs, including social media accounts, so make sure all your programs are closed when you cross the border! The contents on your devices can be examined, and that is true whether or not you are a U.S. citizen, and regardless of your profession. If you are selected for such an inspection, you can expect this two page summary may be handed to you.

The national security concerns of protecting the homeland allow CBP officers to inspect passengers and their belongings without meeting the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.  A CBP officer is not required to articulate why he or she directs you to secondary or why you or a particular device is of interest. (more…)