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INS and Airline Industry Relations
Report Number I-2000-020
September 2000


Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended, both the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the foreign and domestic international airline industry are charged with certain responsibilities for preventing the entry of passengers who are not legally entitled to admission to the United States. INS has ultimate responsibility for stopping all inadmissible passengers from entry. The airlines are responsible for preventing a subset of all inadmissible passengers (i.e., improperly documented passengers) from boarding flights bound for the United States.1 Our inspection focused on the interactions between INS and the airline industry.

  1. An improperly documented passenger is an individual who does not posses the documents required for entry into the United States. For example, someone is typically improperly documented if the person is posing as someone else (i.e., an impostor) or if the person has an invalid visa, a fraudulent passport, or no documents at all.