LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - Checking cell phones and social media is what travelers are doing as soon as they get off the plane, but what if the government wanted to check it too?
“Would you be open to sharing your social media password or contacts on your phone?” FOX 11 asked travelers. “Not really. I feel like that’s quite personal,” Sayce Holmes-Lewis said, who just landed from London.
But that’s what sources tell the Wall Street Journal the Trump administration wants to do under what’s called "extreme vetting."
“What President Trump is saying is that he’s the same person that candidate Trump was and so he’s trying to make good on his promise to secure our borders,” said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School.
Under the vetting process, federal agents could ask foreign travelers to give up their social media password, cell phone contacts and even financial information, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Levinson, who teaches political and election law, said just like Trump's travel ban she would expect lawsuits to follow.
“If there is one thing people feel really strongly about it tends to be their cell phone and what’s in it,” Levinson said.
While extreme vetting may sound unconstitutional, that would be up to a court to decide.
“The federal government has enormous leeway when it comes to searching people when they try to enter our country,” Levinson said.
While most travelers said they don’t have anything to hide, the search would still feel invasive.
“There’s a lot of sensitive information so I wouldn’t be happy giving that up,” Holmes-Lewis said.
Other travelers believe intelligence officials should do those screenings ahead of time.
“You need to be doing that before people travel,” green card holder, Sarah Cantle, said. “It’s chaos enough as it is.”
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