President Trump’s recent Executive Order temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as other immigration actions, has drawn widespread protest and news coverage. According to Presidential Advisor Kellyanne Conway, the ban affected about 300 people (out of 325,000) who arrived in the United States through our airports on Saturday, January 28. She also said that there are “some who have been detained or are prevented from gaining access to an aircraft in their home countries and must stay for now.” Although not reported, Conway did not discuss the ramifications at our land or sea borders.
Anytime an individual enters the United States, they are adjudicated by a CBP officer, including those who are Global Entry participants. CBP also has a system in place for collecting and responding to complaints and compliments received by travelers. They group them into a number of different categories, among them, compliments, denied “entry/enrollment/revoked,” employee conduct, and “fines/detentions/penalties/seizures/duty.”
Over the past several years, I have obtained CBP data through Freedom of Information Act requests, and I know how many different types of responses CBP has received by port of entry and by type of response. I also know the frequency of these responses, as I have written about previously. After the events of this past weekend, it will be interesting to gain a better understanding how responses to CBP have been affected by the President’s Executive Order.
CBP receives a large number of responses on employee conduct, but the number and magnitude of other types of responses could be changed significantly. I suspect that CBP will receive a disproportionate number of “comments” from travelers and non-travelers. I also suspect that they will receive an increase in the number of compliments thanking them for providing for security. Simultaneously, they might also see a large number of complaints associated with “Denied entry/enrollment/revoked,” “Fines/detentions/penalties/seizures/duty,” “Procedure/Policy,” and “Search Authority.”
An analysis several months from now, after new data becomes available, will help determine whether the frequency of any of the aforementioned types of compliments or complaints increases or decreases, the significance of the Trump Executive Order, and how CBP can do a better job of managing the entry process. This information may be valuable to those who are encouraging people to visit the United States.