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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


June 24, 2002 – U.S. District Judge Thomas Moore's ruling that the immigration checkpoint at Cyril E. King Airport is unconstitutional could affect immigration practices from Guam to Puerto Rico, an Immigration and Naturalization Service official said Monday.
"The judge raises some very interesting points," INS spokesman Ivan Ortiz said. "It could affect our practices in all of the territories."
INS attorneys are reviewing Moore's ruling to see if it could force the shutdown of immigration control points in airports where people travel from the territories to the U.S. mainland, he said.
Because Moore did not order the immigration checkpoint shut down at the St. Thomas airport, INS inspectors will continue to check travelers' documents for the time being, Ortiz added.
Last week, Moore ruled that the INS control area at Cyril E. King Airport violates the constitutional guarantee against unlawful searches and seizures and goes against the principle of equal protection under the law.
He stated that travelers from St. Thomas to the U.S. mainland should not have to show citizenship documents or answer questions about their immigration status, just as travelers between airports within the mainland United States are not required to do.
Moore's ruling came in the criminal case against Camille Pollard, a 29-year-old Guyanese citizen arrested in May of 2001 at the St. Thomas airport. INS inspectors say she made false claims to U.S. citizenship.
Moore granted Pollard's request to suppress all evidence gathered at the immigration checkpoint, saying that the INS does not have the right to make unwarranted searches of travelers who are not crossing the U.S. border.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugh Mabe on St. Thomas said Monday that U.S. Justice Department officials have not decided whether to appeal Moore's ruling.
Pollard remains free on $10,000 bail while awaiting trial. If convicted of making false claims to U.S. citizenship, she could face up to three years in prison.

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