While it’s common knowledge that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) routinely checks passengers arriving from international destinations for irregularities such as past criminal convictions and outstanding warrants, today it would appear CBP has extended its routine law enforcement database checks to passengers leaving the United States as well.

A student with an outstanding warrant was apprehended today by CBP when he who was about to board an international flight in Kansas. In a press release, CBP stated, “CBP prevents narcotics, agricultural pests and smuggled goods from entering and exiting the country and also identifies and arrests those with outstanding criminal warrants.” (emphasis added).

Where in the past I would have advised noncitizen clients with a past criminal conviction, that if they decide to venture outside the United States, upon return to the United States, they may be denied re-entry, placed into proceedings, required to surrender their green card, etc. Based on today’s events, noncitizens with past criminal convictions should be prepared to be questioned and possibly detained before they even set foot on an international flight or cruise.