Tuesday, February 7, 2023
CBP One App
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched its CBP OneTM mobile app in October 2020. Initially, the app was available for:
land travelers to submit their traveler information in advance prior to their border crossing into the United States, air travelers to request an inspection of biological and agriculture products upon their air arrival into the U.S., brokers/carriers/forwarders to make appointments for the inspection of perishable cargo, travelers to apply for and view their I-94s and permission-based use for International Organizations (IOs) to verify the status of individuals in CBP Programs.
On January 5, 2023, Biden announced "New Border Enforcement Actions" in response to court limits on lifting the Title 42 border restrictions. Those "new" actions include:
- Increasing the Use of Expedited Removal (meaning the end of "explusion" without "removal" (and its consequent 5 year reentry ban).
- Announcing New Measures to Encourage Individuals to Seek Orderly and Lawful Pathways to Migration
- Expanding the Parole Process for Venezuelans to Nicaraguans, Haitians, and Cubans
- Tripling Refugee Resettlement from the Western Hemisphere
- Launching Online Appointment Portal to Reduce Overcrowding and Wait Times at U.S. Ports of Entry.
- New Legal Pathways to Other Countries Across the Region.
- Increasing Humanitarian Assistance in Mexico and Central America.
- Surge Resources to Secure the Border, Disrupt Criminal Smuggling Networks, and Support Border Communities
Ok. Back to CBP One. Where does that app come in? With the highlighted entry above. As the Biden administration described it:
noncitizens located in Central and Northern Mexico seeking to enter the United States lawfully through a U.S. port of entry have access to the CBP One mobile application for scheduling an appointment to present themselves for inspection and to initiate a protection claim instead of coming directly to a port of entry to wait. This new feature will significantly reduce wait times and crowds at U.S. ports of entry and allow for safe, orderly, and humane processing.
At the time, I admit to being a little wary of how this would play out on the ground. I mean, color me skeptical, but do all asylum seekers have cell phone access? Maybe they do. I mean, if I was fleeing my house with nothing but the clothes on my back and my family, I would be more likely to grab my phone than just about anything else. Still, managing a U.S. based app? That seems fraught even if, as one helpful blogger pointed out, it's a free system meant to “'democratize' the process and give direct access to noncitizens for scheduling appointments for presentation at the Ports of Entry."
Twitter has some great on-the-ground reporting about CBP One, including this from attorney Lindsay Toczylowski:
At a shelter in Tijuana today out of 150 families not one had successfully made an appt via the CBP One app. Most frequent question for me: “what does this say?” — Because error messages they get while trying to make appts in Spanish version of app are in English, not Spanish. pic.twitter.com/TqfKxp1kJm— Lindsay Toczylowski (@L_Toczylowski) February 7, 2023
It's only been about a month since the app has been used for asylum appointments. More data will undoubtedly roll in about its efficacy. For now, twitter is a uniquely great resource for updating students about how the system is working in practice.
I totally agree with Ming Chen
Posted by: Papa's Pizzeria | Mar 14, 2023 1:58:15 AM
Yes, it is concerning. Although DHS is working on it, there isn't yet a non-Spanish version for Haitian asylum seekers... only the glitchy English/Spanish.
Posted by: Ming Chen | Feb 8, 2023 8:52:37 AM