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Two lawsuits challenge demands for air travelers’ IDs

papersplease.org / October 12th, 2017 

Two Federal lawsuits have been filed against the Federal government and officers and agents of the Department of Homeland Security and its component agencies for violating air travelers rights by demanding that they identity themselves and/or provide evidence of their identities.

The complaint in Amadei v. Duke was filed today by the ACLU in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (the district in which New York’s Kennedy Airport is located) on behalf of nine of the passengers on Delta Airlines Flight 1583 from SFO to JFK on February 22, 2017.

As was reported at the time of the incident, visibly-armed U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers blocked the door of the plane when it arrived at JFK. Passengers were told they wouldn’t be allowed to leave unless and until they showed the officers their “documents”, which they were told meant “government-issued ID”.

CBP officials and spokespeople helped make the legal case against themselves and the agency by telling reporters that this was a “routine” practice consistent with agency policy, not an isolated incident or one that could be blamed on mistake, individual “bad apples”, or front-line officers.

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