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Returning Home: How U.S. Government Practices Undermine Civil Rights oat Our Nation's Doorstep


Publication Date: 
April 01, 2009
Bibliography: Shirin Sinnar, Returning Home: How U.S. Government Practices Undermine Civil Rights at Our Nation’s Doorstep, Asian Law Caucus/Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic report (2009).


Most Americans returning to the United States after traveling abroad can look forward to the feeling of comfort, belonging, and security that comes from setting foot once again on U.S. soil. But for some Americans, overbroad and invasive U.S. government practices have transformed that homecoming into an encounter of anxiety, fear, and insecurity. In recent years, many U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and others who call America home have faced lengthy detentions, intrusive questioning, and invasive searches when they return to the United States. Individuals around the country report that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers routinely question them about their political views, religious practices, and other lawful activities or search through their books, laptop computers, private papers, and other possessions – often for hours – before permitting them to enter their own country.