Published on : Thursday, October 12, 2017
According to an attorney, a group of nine passengers on a domestic flight, for which immigration authorities made everyone show identification before they could deplane, are filing a suit against the government, alleging they were subjected to an unconstitutional search.
The American Civil Liberties Union, representing the passengers, asked a federal judge on Thursday to bar the government from requiring people to produce ID before deboarding a domestic flight, without a warrant or individualized reason to do so.
ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang said that even though passengers are required to show identification before being allowed into the area where flights are boarded, those on board the flight were “shocked” to be asked to do so before they could leave.
“There was no lawful justification for detaining every single passenger on this domestic flight,” she said.
The incident occurred in February on Delta Flight 1583 from San Francisco to New York.
Once on the ground at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Wang said, those on board were greeted by Customs and Border Protection agents, who stood in the jetway and demanded identification documents from those getting off the plane. Those who questioned what was happening were told it was routine, Wang said.
A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.