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10 Brief Responses To 700 Comments About Refusing To Answer Questions At Passport Control

Liberty Planet Weblog

1. A U.S. Citizen Cannot Be Denied Re-Entry To Her Own Country.

A federal judge in Puerto Rico – a territory sensitive to the rights and privileges of its residents’ U.S. citizenship — said it best: “The only absolute and unqualified right of citizenship is to residence within the territorial boundaries of the United States; a citizen cannot be either deported or denied reentry.” U.S. v. Valentine, 288 F. Supp. 957, 980 (D.P.R. 1968).

So, while some commenters worried – or advocated – that a citizen who refused to answer CBP questions would be denied re-entry to the United States, the U.S. government does not have the power to prevent a citizen’s re-entry.
2. (The Right To) Silence Is Golden.

This is principally about the right to silence. CBP officers are law enforcement (pictured), who can detain you, arrest you and testify against you in criminal court. You place yourself…

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