“Papers, please”: Trump, Sessions, and the CBP unleashed


What happens when you unleash the guard dogs? Well my first guess is more and more of this kind of thing:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed Thursday that their agents requested to see the identification of domestic flight passengers landing at a New York airport Wednesday night as they searched for an immigrant who had received a deportation order to leave the United States.


According to the agency, two CBP agents asked passengers who had been on Delta Flight 1583 from San Francisco to show their identification while deplaning after landing at John F. Kennedy Airport at about 8 p.m. Wednesday. The search was conducted at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, CBP said in a statement, but the person they were seeking was not on the flight.

A CBP spokesperson said that the individual, who they did not publicly identify, had legal immigration documents but received a deportation order after multiple criminal convictions for domestic assault, driving while impaired, and violating a protective order.[added emphasis]

So what’s the big deal?  Well, remember this was a domestic flight not under the purview or jurisdiction of Customs and Border Protection. And this: It is unclear what would have happened had officials found undocumented immigrants getting off the airplane and whether they would have faced deportation if identified. It is also unclear what would have happened to any passenger who refused to produce his or her identification for the agents.

“Is this a mere request to see identification?” said Jordan Wells, a staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union “Would they have been detained but for them showing ID? Because then it’s no longer a consensual encounter and the Constitution enters the equation.”

The Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol each denied this event was part of any new policy or crackdown, but with Trump’s Exec Orders on immigration, supported by Attorney General Sessions coming fast and furious, it is tempting to take these denials as obligatory coverups: please pass the grains of salt (or do we toss the salt over our shoulders so as not to have to swallow the bland coating atop constitutional poison?).

On Friday a  CBP spokesperson insisted to Rolling Stone Magazine that the check was “consensual assistance from passengers aboard the flight” and that “CBP did not compel anyone to show ID.” However a passenger on the Delta flight tweeted: “We were told we couldn’t disembark without showing our ‘documents.'”

With these recent changes to immigration policy – aka “crack-down” – underway, it is worth remembering that the CBP union, called The National Border Patrol Council, was an early and enthusiastic supporter of candidate Donald Trump, the strongman.

In their first ever presidential endorsement the 16,500 member union said: “We need a person in the White House who doesn’t fear the media, who doesn’t embrace political correctness, who doesn’t need the money, who is familiar with success, who won’t bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and NOT subservient to the interests of other nations. Donald Trump is such a man,”[added emphasis]. This is likely the mindset that led unleashed guards in the Border Patrol at the Vermont border  to turn back a Canadian citizen planning to shop in the US because she’s Muslim and had Muslim prayers on her cell phone (see also here and here).

But we got to this point slowly in baby steps. Go read this 2014 GMD diary by NanuqFC about our de facto National ID cards. Most Vermonters already have them. Once known as a Vermont State driving license, they are “Real ID” DHS compliant and come with a gold star. But you know everyone isn’t compliant, and we are free, after all, to get a non-compliant license – and it has a scary red banner reading: NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION.

Remember: “Your papers, please.”  That isn’t normal here at all. No.

3 thoughts on ““Papers, please”: Trump, Sessions, and the CBP unleashed

  1. Better start wearing your passport around your neck at all times. You may need it to prove who you are. Oh, that won’t work as it was issued by a governmental agency and they are all corrupt and should be eliminated according to the current czar. We are in big trouble.

  2. “…who won’t bow to foreign dictators?” Guess they didn’t get the memo about Putin.

    Even if we manage to defeat this troll the next time around, many of the affronts to our liberty that he is institutionalizing will not be so quickly expunged.

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