May 6, 2009
The Associated Press reports that the FBI has been remiss in adding, removing, and updating the national terror suspect watchlist. As immigration lawyers, Fong & Chun has clients both in Los Angeles and abroad who have had difficulty because the individuals were misidentified or because they requested to be removed from the watchlist and the removal did not occur in a timely fashion. The inefficiency can damage national security, hinder much-needed commerce and tourism, and gravely damage an individual's ability freely to travel.
In 8% of cases, FBI failed to remove persons from and update the watchlist. The AP also reports that in almost 75% of cases, the FBI did not do its job in a timely fashion.
In a blog entry in April we reported that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) would begin "Secure Flight" screening of air travelers. We observed at that time that it would be mission critical for TSA to have a program to identify and quickly respond to anyone who has been wrongly placed on the watchlist. --jcf