If this doesn’t make you livid, I’m not sure what to tell you.
On 24 February, Delta flight 1583 left San Francisco for New York City according to airline tracker Flight Aware, and a little over five hours later it landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The passengers were naturally anxious to disembark, but such was not the case. This time, uniformed federal agents stood at the door of the aircraft. In order to leave the plane, passengers had to show their identification. Papers, please.
Here’s where it gets really screwed up (because it wasn’t already? I know.):
When Rolling Stone asked CBP to produce the law that gave them the authority to demand papers from domestic travelers on a routine flight, the Border Patrol spokesman sent them a link to a document called CBP Search Authority. It gives 19 CFR 162.6 as its reference within the federal law; the only problem is that nowhere in that law does it mention domestic flights. The entire clause is expressly about “entering or leaving the United States” from international locations. When the Rolling Stone reporter asked the CBP spokesman to explain this discrepancy, the response was “at this time this is all I have.”
It gets worse. Read the whole thing at Liberty Nation.