WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the bipartisan Traveler Redress Improvement Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee, to ensure that travelers have the appropriate redress when experiencing difficulties at transportation hubs or crossing U.S. borders.
The measure expands the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Redress Inquiry Program, or DHS TRIP, which functions to assist travelers who feel they have been repeatedly selected for enhanced screening. Currently, the DHS TRIP process provides redress to individuals who have been placed on the ‘No Fly List,’ but has no other mechanism for handling cases where travelers feel they have been unfairly subject to enhanced screening or vetting. For this reason, a traveler may be perpetually selected for enhanced screening without any opportunity to correct the record if he or she feels this has occurred in error.
“Currently, if a traveler is subject to an enhanced pat down by TSA or suspects that he or she has been flagged as a potential security threat to an airport, that individual has little redress within the Department of Homeland Security,” said U.S. Rep. John Katko. “Unfortunately, erroneous information in the Terrorist Screening Data Base can sometimes lead to mistakenly identifying individuals as threats. This means innocent travelers may be targeted by the U.S. government – without being provided an explanation or opportunity to make amends. This measure establishes a formal mechanism to handle these cases within the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that individuals can travel safely and hassle-free.”