Can U.S. Immigration unlock cell phone before allowing admission to U.S.?

YES! Foreign travelers who are not U.S. citizens trying to enter the United States are not guarantee entry into the United States. Instead, foreign travelers (including green card holders) apply for entry into the United States and everything on them is subject to search when they present their visa or green card at the airport (or port of entry).  Since Trump presidency, we’ve seen U.S. Immigration unlock cell phone of many legal immigrants and visitors before allowing admission into the U.S.

The New York Times has reported that in 2015, U.S. Immigration Border Agents inspected 4,444 cell phones and 320 other electronic devices – 2016 statistics is unavailable. Recently, many foreign travelers have reported that immigration and security inspections at the border/port of entry and airport have extended to digital devices (including laptops and cell phones). In this day in age, inspecting a digital device can be more intrusive than inspecting a suitcase. Most digital devices have access to personal emails, social media accounts, photos, videos, text, web browsing history, etc.

How can foreign travelers prepare digital devices for inspection?

  1. Power down the digital device before entering the airport or port of entry.
  2. Disable the touch ID and enable a passcode to turn on digital devices.
  3. Clear browsing history from web browser.
  4. Remove apps such as whatsapp, Facebook messenger and other chat apps.
  5. Remove social media app and passwords from cell phones, tablets and laptops.
  6. Reduce the amount of data (including phone numbers) that are stored on your cell phones, tablets and laptops.
  7. Encrypt all data on your digital device.

The bad news is that U.S. immigration officers can force a foreign traveler (non-U.S. citizen) to unlock their digital device (laptop, cell phone, tablet, etc.) and if the traveler refuses then the digital device can be seize. Also, U.S. immigration officers will most likely deny foreign travelers entry into the U.S. if they refuse to submit their digital device to inspection.

For more information on U.S. Immigration unlock cell phone, contact Gail Law Firm:

Email: Gail@GailLaw.com

Phone: 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730

www.MyOrlandoImmigrationLawyer.com

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