Legal experts in New Jersey and nationwide are raising legal concerns about Customs and Border Protection One. The app allows asylum seekers to submit personal information electronically, reducing the need for face-to-face meetings. It is the only way to apply to become an asylum seeker under Title 42. Asylum seekers can also use the app to find out if they need to provide additional information or appear at a meeting.
Why advocates are concerned
Advocates working on the United States border say they are having problems using the app, which requires the asylum seeker to send in their photo each time they use it.
Collection of data
People advocating for asylum seekers express concern that the app can be used to collect photos of the seeker’s face and their fingerprints. They fear the information may be released to law enforcement in response to court or administrative orders. Furthermore, advocates say that not every asylum seeker has access to a smartphone or the internet to access the app.
Glitchy app complaints
Advocates helping people on the border understand immigration law also say that the app can be glitchy on older mobile phones, which many immigrants can afford. There have also been reports that people with darker skin have had issues getting the app to accept their photos, which is a requirement for using it.
Alternatives to using the app
Advocates warn that problems with the app may cause more immigrants to turn to people smuggling or attempting to enter the country at unmanned locations.
People seeking asylum in the United States must use the Customs and Border Protection One, despite problems and fears reported by immigration advocates.