Texas Lawyers: Travelers Shouldn’t Be Detained Longer Than 4 Hours

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP)A group of lawyers representing foreign nationals detained at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport say the travelers too often are being held for hours at a time, amounting to an illegal government detention.

Peter Schulte, among more than 100 attorneys offering free legal services to those detained at the airport, said Tuesday that screening travelers can take hours, but any detention longer than four hours must be considered unlawful.

He says it appears more than a dozen people were detained at the airport Monday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. But the actual number is unclear because he and other lawyers must rely on family members or airline passengers who notice travelers being pulled aside.

(credit: Vanessa Brown/CBS 11 News)

(credit: Vanessa Brown/CBS 11 News)

One of the people detained included Labeeb Issa. His flight landed around 3 o’clock Monday afternoon and he didn’t leave customs until nearly 7:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Issa, who is wheelchair-bound with a broken pelvis, said he was tired after the 15-hour customs screening but hopeful and grateful to be in the United States for the first time.

According to the 33-year-old, he was injured when he crashed a vehicle after being shot at in Iraq last year. It’s believed he was targeted because he worked driving for the U.S. Army.

Another North Texas attorney, Paul Wingo, says additional travelers were detained Tuesday.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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