Paul to DHS Sec.: Is It ‘Appropriate to Deny Me Entry to the Country Unless I Let You Search My Cell Phone?’

‘I could travel abroad and be told I cannot enter America unless I let you look at my phone’

PAUL: “General Kelly, thanks for coming. If I travel abroad and I’m coming back home, do you think it’s appropriate to deny me entry to the country unless I let you search my cell phone?”
KELLY: “Under — under very, very, very critical circumstances, I would say that an American citizen ought to be able to come back in and not have their electronics searched.”
PAUL: “We’ve gone from 5,000 people having their cell phones searched to 25,000. We are denying people entry who are citizens or Green Card holders who are coming back home and your department is saying to them, ‘You cannot return to your home without giving us your fingerprint and giving us all of the data on your phone, access to all of the data on your phone.’ I think this is an extraordinarily unreasonable standard. I also think that you probably can differentiate between citizens, U.S. persons, and those who are coming to visit. So I’m not saying you can’t have some standards and that based on suspicion, you can deny someone entry to the country. But not a citizen, not a Green Card holder. They are denying access to our own country. I could travel abroad and be told I cannot enter America unless I let you look at my phone. That’s obscene. And do you have a response? We’re up to 25,000 of these now.”
KELLY: “Well, it certainly hasn’t increased significantly in the 90 days I’ve been on the job and 90 days Mr. Trump has been president. I don’t think we ever turn back legal citizens — citizens or legal residents.”

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