Secondary Inspection Changes Under Trump Administration

Caro Kinsella Dublin

There are times when a decision cannot be made immediately at a Point of Entry regarding a person’s admissibility and additional questioning is required. This is when “Secondary Inspection” is conducted.

What is Secondary Inspection?

Secondary Inspection involves being taken to an additional or “secondary” inspection location. This could be a separate office, back room, or even a different building location depending on the circumstances.

Do I have the right to an Attorney to Secondary Inspection?

A foreign national does not have the right to be represented by an attorney or legal representative in the secondary inspection area (this has recently changed under a new directive from Customs and Border Protection or CBP).
Prior to this change, attorneys were generally allowed into the secondary inspection area on a case-by-case basis. However, the new directive from CBP has put into place a blanket policy preventing attorneys from entering the secondary inspection area.

Changes by President Trump’s Administration

CBP appears to have been given the authority to take a more hardline approach to the screening of foreign nationals by the Trump administration.

What can I do to prepare?

If you are heading to the US on a trip or are applying for an ESTA/Visa Waiver admission, be sure to understand the risks associated with travel, especially if there are any gray areas that could delay or prevent admission to the US, and plan accordingly.

ACTION NOTE: If you are uncertain or have any concerns before entering the US book an appointment to speak with our attorneys and understand your rights fully before travel.

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