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Safety

How High-Risk & Disqualified Flyers Got Global Entry

How High-Risk & Disqualified Flyers Got Global Entry
Joe Cortez

Could a disqualified, potentially high-risk flyer be accepted into the Global Entry program, despite their past? A redacted report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General suggests Customs and Border Protection may be put at risk because of individual officers’ activities. The report, completed in June 2019, was discovered and shared on the FlyerTalk forums by member dc_to_yunnan.

“CBP Officers Did Not Always Comply With Policies…”

During the study, the Office of the Inspector General submitted flyers considered “high-risk” for inclusion into the Global Entry program. As a result, four flyers were allowed into the program. The report found: “CBP officers did not always comply with policies when reviewing Global Entry applications nor do CBP’s policies sufficiently help officers determine an applicant’s level of risk.”

How did the four get through the Global Entry process? One used a lost or stolen passport on their application, two had criminal records including misdemeanor and narcotics violations, while the last was linked to an ongoing investigation.

Making things even more concerning was some flyers were allowed to pass through the Global Entry lane, despite not having valid Global Entry receipts from machines. As a result, the CBP officers tested failed to properly respond to the breach of “Daily Security Code.”

With a fake receipt, a compromised flyer could easily enter the United States without the proper documentation or checks. The inspector general notes: “Unless CBP officers authenticate kiosk receipts, someone could use a fake receipt to enter the United States.

In conclusion, the inspector general puts the blame for allowing vulnerabilities in the trusted traveler system squarely on Customs and Border Protection. In particular, CBP Office of Field Operations did not conduct the required number of internal audits and did not use its Self-Inspection Program Worksheet effectively,” the report reads. “CBP’s lack of adherence to its compliance program’s policies and procedures creates vulnerabilities in Global Entry by allowing potentially ineligible members to continue to participate.”

What’s Next for Global Entry

While the Global Entry program won’t go away anytime soon, Customs and Border Protection will have to make some major adjustments to the program. The inspector general offered six recommendations to CBP, including additional training for officers and reviewing their current handbooks to ensure they maintain the right information.

The inspector general also wants CBP to come up with additional policies to ensure border security upon entry. In recommendations, investigators asked for the agency to “…develop and evaluate improved methods to ensure CBP officers authenticate Global Entry membership prior to travelers exiting the Federal Inspection Service area.” Moreover, the inspector general wants CBP to “…update the policies and procedures in the CBP Vetting Center Policy-Internal Audits of Trusted Traveler Program Application Vetting SOP.” In 2016 and 2017, the report discovered CBP did not audit their requirement of 20 randomly selected applications in 16 of 24 months.

Customs and Border Protection agreed to all of the recommendations.

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. DEN

    December 4, 2019 at 7:29 am

    “…develop and evaluate improved methods to ensure CBP officers authenticate Global Entry membership prior to travelers exiting the Federal Inspection Service area.” This is Government-Speak for “passengers will be required to prove identity several more times since our system is so poorly planned and implemented” ……

    And they let them carry guns……

  2. N1120A

    December 7, 2019 at 1:53 am

    Ridiculous. This is just an excuse to harass trusted travelers even more.

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