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Customs Agents Check IDs of Domestic Passengers Landing at JFK: Officials

By Ben Fractenberg | February 23, 2017 3:18pm | Updated on February 23, 2017 5:57pm
 A customs agent checked passengers' IDs while they disembarked a Delta flight at JFK Airport on Feb. 22.
A customs agent checked passengers' IDs while they disembarked a Delta flight at JFK Airport on Feb. 22.
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QUEENS — Customs agents looking for an immigrant who was ordered to be deported checked the identification of passengers as they disembarked a domestic Delta flight at JFK Airport Wednesday, according to a Customs and Border Patrol spokesman.

The two agents were assisting ICE in meeting a person "ordered removed by an immigration judge." They checked IDs as passengers walked off Delta flight 1583 from San Francisco after it landed about 8 p.m. on Feb. 22, officials said. 

"To assist our law enforcement partners, two CBP officers requested identification from those on the flight in order to help identify the individual," a Customs spokesman said in a statement. 

"The individual was determined not to be on the flight."

Several passengers tweeted photos of the agent, expressing concern about having their identification checked by a federal agent after a domestic flight.

An ICE spokeswoman said the person had a "final order of removal" and was scheduled to be on the flight "in furtherance of the removal process."

Customs were asked to meet the person while federal immigration officers were en route, the spokeswoman added. 

"It was later determined that the individual was not placed on the flight in San Francisco," the spokeswoman said in a statement. 

The person was located, according to sources, and "is scheduled for removal at a later date."

The check happened after President Donald Trump ordered federal agencies to help speed up the deportation process and crack down on undocumented immigrants.   

It was not immediately clear why the person was ordered to be deported. 

"CBP often receives requests from our law enforcement partners to assist in various ways, including identifying a person of interest," the Customs spokesman added. 

"CBP will assist when able to."