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I am a recent green card holder, obtained from work/EB2 category (if that makes a difference). The first time I used it I was traveling by car, and it was very straightforward. The second and third times have both been entering the U.S.A. via DFW International Airport. Both times I used the APK and have received a referral with code ER which seems to mean "Enforcement Referal". After being referred both times there were no questions asked, but they asked for my green card and passport. I did a 4- finger print, a photo and they stamped my passport with entry "ARC" (not sure what this means exactly?), took less than 1 minute.

However I've been wondering why I am getting referred, both times it has been the same flight American Airlines from Mexico City, and I have noticed almost everyone who used the APK from the same flight got referred with me, all green card holders.

I read that it could be because of any minor criminal offenses, but I have never been fingerprinted for any type of offense at all.

I was wondering if I could ask the CBP officer next time, or if I could contact USCIS to inquire.

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    Completely wild guess: Oscar Gomez is a fairly common name - perhaps there's somebody by the same name on a watch list of some kind? Maybe they are taking fingerprints to make sure that you are not him. – Nate Eldredge Nov 3 '17 at 4:06
  • I believe "ARC" stands for "Alien Registration Card". – Patricia Shanahan Nov 3 '17 at 4:10
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    @PatriciaShanahan this is correct. The admission stamp has a space for "Class" and "Until" which has to be filled up by CBP, and for green card holders they indeed put "ARC" there. I've also seen LPR in my previous passport (lawful permanent resident) – George Y. Nov 3 '17 at 4:21
  • Consider applying to GlobalEntry program if you're otherwise eligible. Not only this would simplify crossing borders, but would probably clean up the name mixup thing. – George Y. Nov 3 '17 at 4:24
  • Thank you for the comments, I also though about the name, Oscar Gomez is definitely common, but I have 2 last names and the second one is very rare. I will look into global entry. – Oscar Gomez Nov 3 '17 at 13:35
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You could ask the CBP officer. Just a quick "this seems to happen every time. Is that normal or is there something I can do?" would be sufficient. Whether you get a helpful answer or not, I can't predict, but unless you get someone who is incredibly hostile, asking should be fine.

You can apply to DHS TRIP, the "DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program," which is for "situations where travelers believe they have been unfairly or incorrectly delayed, denied boarding or identified for additional screening at our nation’s transportation hubs." You fill out a form, wait a while, and usually they come back with a "we can neither confirm nor deny anything" response, but they're sometimes able to fix watchlist issues, if that's what's happening to you. It's free, so worth a try.

I'd also try making sure the name on your plane tickets and given to the airline is exactly the same as that in your passport. I've heard of weird issues like this where someone switches from a space to a hyphen or something similar.

As George Y. suggests, you could also try applying for Global Entry if you meet the requirements. This will get you TSA Precheck benefits as well, and you'll be able to use the Global Entry lines and kiosks when you enter the US.

  • I think traveler redress is for problems with TSA. I doubt it would have any effect on immigration problems. – phoog Nov 3 '17 at 21:57
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    @phoog They say it's for people who "have been denied or delayed entry into or exit from the U.S. at a port of entry or border crossing." It seems to be kind of universal. – Zach Lipton Nov 3 '17 at 23:09
  • Ah, so it is. I overlooked the "or crossing borders" bit on the page you linked to. – phoog Nov 3 '17 at 23:40

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