Assistance with investigating and appealing watchlist designations and airport, train, border, and travel delays, harassment, or interrogation.

The Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP)

  • What is it? It works with DHS, CPB, ICE, TSA, and the Department of State.
  • What can you investigate? Watch list issues; screening problems at ports of entry; unfair or incorrect delays; boarding denials; selection for additional screening; and more.
    • Examples. You were able to print a boarding pass from a kiosk or from the Internet. You were denied or delayed boarding. A ticket agent “called someone” before handing you a boarding pass You were told: your personal information was incomplete or inaccurate or you are on the “No Fly List.”
    • You can also appeal past treatment you experiences from DHS/CBP/ICE/TSA staff during travel screening at transportation hubs (airports, train stations, borders, etc).  if you were unfairly detained, or unfairly denied entry, or  record of your personal information is inaccurate.
    • If you believe you are on a watch-list
  • How to appeal
    • You can investigate through FOIA before you appeal.
    • Or you can directly appeal. Travelers can appeal themselves online here or through snail mail You will need to include copies of your identification
    • Travelers can also hire an attorney to assist. An authorization for release is needed

Watchlist – Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) 

  • The TSC is administered by the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, and the departments of Homeland Security, Defense, State and Treasury, and the CIA. There a two subsets
    • The “No Fly” – includes individuals who are prohibited from boarding an aircraft. You are NOT on the No Fly list if you receive a boarding pass.
    • The “Selectee” list includes individuals who undergo additional security screening before being permitted to board an aircraft.
  • Redress/Appeals/Complaints
    • The TSC does not accept redress inquiries or complaints directly from the public. It instructs travelers to contact the screening agency where the incident arose.

CPB Trusted Traveler Programs

  • CPB maintains number of trusted traveler programs
  • You can appeal denials of admission to the Trusted Traveler SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST or Global Entry programs.

TSA Claims/Complaints

  • Process
  • Form

CPB Complaint Form


DHS Complaint Form

  • Process  Forms
  • The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) investigates civil rights and civil liberties complaints policies and activities, abuses of civil rights, civil liberties, and profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion, by employees and officials of DHS (U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);  Transportation Security Administration (TSA); U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); U.S. Coast Guard (USCG); U.S. Secret Service (USSS); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Federal Protective Service (FPS).) Including:
    • Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, or disability
    • Violation of rights while in immigration detention or as a subject of immigration enforcement
    • Discrimination or inappropriate questioning related to entry into the United States
    • Violation of right to due process, such as right to timely notice of charges or access to lawyer
    • Violation of the Violence Against Women Act confidentiality requirements
    • Physical abuse or any other type of abuse
    • Any other civil rights, civil liberties, or human rights violation related to a Department program or activity

Office of Foreign Assets Control Lists (Sanctions, Watchlists, etc.)

  • Background information
  • Search sanctions lists
  • Appealing designations. Email
  • Notes OFAC refuses to remove a designee’s name from the list, the IEEPA does not provide for an administrative appeal. The only recourse is to challenge the designation by filing a lawsuit.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Do Not Board List

  • Information on current quarantines

Know Your Rights

  • ACLU, What To Do When Encountering Law Enforcement at Airports and Other Ports of Entry into the U.S.
  • ACLU, Can Border Agents Search Your Electronic Devices? It’s Complicated (Spanish, Arabic)
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Know Your Rights at the Airport
  • Urban Justice Center, Know Your Rights, Travel to the U.S. After the March 6, 2017 Executive Order (Many languages) (Information Current as of February 4, 2017)
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation, Border Searches
  • ABA Statement on Attorney-Client Privilege at Border,abalettertodhs,finalversion,may5,2017).pd
  • Pro Publica: Can Customs and Border Officials Search Your Phone? These Are Your Rights (March 13, 2017)
  • New York Times, What Are Your Rights if Border Agents Want to Search Your Phone? (February 14, 2017)
  • Electronic Data/Device Searches (From 2011 – There is some updated case law)
  • ACLU, What To Do When Encountering Law Enforcement – Questioning
  • ACLU, What To Do When Encountering Law Enforcement – Additional Information for Non-Citizens
  • CAIR Pocket Guide
  • Know Your Rights for Detained Immigrants (many languages)