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Follow-Up Audit of the Immigration and Naturalization Service's Airport Inspection Facilities

Report No. 03-10
January 2003
Office of the Inspector General



Absconding. The deliberate exit of an individual from the inspection area prior to completion of inspection, or the escape of an individual from carrier custody either before or after inspection.

Contraband. Smuggled goods.

Detainee. An individual in INS custody.

Escape. The deliberate exit of an individual who is in custody.

Hold Room. A secure confinement room located in the INS secondary inspection area, used to hold aliens temporarily pending further action, i.e., investigation, interrogation, expeditious removal, or withdrawal, or deportation.

Inspection Area. The sterile, international area, including all gates, corridors, mobile lounges, and other connectors between the aircraft and the exit to the public. Inspections of incoming passengers are performed in this area by the following federal agencies:

  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Agriculture)
  • Customs Service (Treasury)
  • Fish and Wildlife Service (Interior)
  • INS (Justice)
  • Public Health Service (Health and Human Services)

Jetway. A corridor connecting the aircraft to the terminal building. For international flights arriving the U.S., the jetway generally connects to a "sterile" corridor leading to the inspections area.

Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC). A station located centrally within the inspection area, where federal inspection staff can directly view the INS's primary inspection area and view remote areas via closed circuit television. The JACC may also facilitate communication among INS staff and other federal agencies that occupy the inspection area, and direct federal inspection agency response to incidents within the area.

Juvenile. An alien under 18 years old.

Landing Station. Synonymous with Inspection Area. Therefore, an airport can have more than one landing station.

Modesty Panel. A solid vertical panel in the toilet area of a hold room for providing privacy to detainees. Modesty panels lessen the agitation of detainees and their desire to escape.

Primary Inspection Area. The first location within the inspection area where arriving passengers undergo formal inspection. This area is operated by INS inspectors, who examine visas, passports, and other documentation to determine whether passengers may be admitted into the United States.

Recessed rings. Steel rings to which hold room occupants are secured. Rings recessed into the seating are less breakable.

Recesses for toilet paper rolls. Recesses in hold room walls for holding rolls of toilet paper. Unlike conventional holders, recesses cannot be broken or used as weapons.

Secondary Inspection Area. The location within the INS portion of the inspection area where incoming passengers may be referred for questioning, closer examination of documents, processing of additional documents, or placement into hold rooms.

Sterile Corridor System. The area within the inspection area through which incoming passengers move from the aircraft to the primary inspection area. Access into and from the sterile corridor system should be controlled. Unauthorized persons should neither enter nor exit without setting off an alarm.