Client Successfully Renews Passport Four Years After Seizure by CBP

CLCMA helped its client get her U.S. passport back, and renewed, four years after it was seized at an airport. U.S. Custom and Border Protection (“CBP”) at Los Angeles International Airport seized the passports of our client and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. M, upon their return from international travel. CBP transferred the passports to the U.S. Department of State, which for years refused to return them despite repeated requests. Sadly, Mr. M passed away while awaiting the return of his passport.

“The U.S. government knows that challenges to the issuance of a U.S. passport are protected by due process,” said Kathryn H. Brady, CLCMA Immigration Department Head. “It is important to hold the Department of State to these established rules; otherwise U.S. citizens are deprived of the ability to travel and of the major document that proves their legal status in the U.S.”

CLCMA’s Civil Litigation attorneys, with the support of CLCMA’s Immigration Department, diligently pursued relief from the Department of State to compel return of Mr. and Mrs. M’s passports. The persistent follow through on vague assurances from the Department of State finally resulted in confirmation that Mrs. M.’s passport had not been revoked. This allowed Mrs. M to file for a renewed passport, which she did with CLCMA’s help. Mrs. M’s goal of once again having a valid U.S. passport finally became reality. This successful resolution ends over four years of worry for Mrs. M about plans to travel internationally to see her family members, some of whom are in poor health, once global travel restrictions are lifted.

“The lag in time here by the government is inexcusable and totally unjustified, “ said Christina Jump, Civil Litigation Department Head, “but we are glad our client finally has her rightful passport, and therefore proof of her long-standing status as a U.S. citizen, back as she should.” Ms. Jump added that “CLCMA sees multiple examples of citizens wrongfully deprived of documentation, in what can only be an attempt by the government to side-step the procedures of due process which citizens are entitled to receive before the government can revoke citizenship. Instead, the government revokes or retains the documents proving citizenship, often with little to no explanation. This is wrong, and we are honored to work with our clients to protect their rights and the rights of all U.S. citizens.”