DOJ instructs airlines to disclose info on travelers from nations Trump designated as non-countries

The Justice Department is now telling airlines to disclose details on passengers from southern Africa who might be traveling to the United States if a state of emergency is declared under President Trump’s new national emergency declaration on immigration.

Prosecutors are now telling airlines that travelers from countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe are allowed into the United States if they fall under the “public charge” definition. That definition sets strict limits on the income a family can have to qualify for a work visa and thereby remain in the United States.

The Trump administration also wants to change the definition of “national security interest” from “terrorism” or “international” to “domestic threat.”

The specific requirement is that if an airline seeks a visa for the passenger, then that passenger should show he or she may not financially support the visit.

“We are well aware of the ongoing report of increased international air travel in certain non-border crossings,” DOJ civil division attorney Mark Barnett wrote in a memo on Jan. 9 to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). “Therefore, we further ask CBP to be prepared to detain, and if necessary seek a warrant, from a federal district court for information concerning the traveler’s financial ability to support himself or herself on his or her anticipated departure, pending the acceptance by the United States of the traveler’s application for lawful entry.”

Barnett urged airlines to disclose the passenger’s ability to support himself or herself if the applicant is required to show proof of financial ability at the time of entry. He asked airlines to do this via “Know Your Customer” (KYC) information and “Traveler Checklist” documents that airlines are required to provide.

The Justice Department memo to airlines also explained that the public charge requirements apply only if the applicant “represents a national security risk to the United States because he or she presents a financial threat to U.S. nationals and/or U.S. citizens.”

On Jan. 9, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen sent a memo to federal law enforcement agencies about the new immigration national emergency that Trump signed Jan. 5.

First published at the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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