Hundreds of thousands of travelers, citizens and foreign nationals alike cross the U.S. border every day. Many may be surprised to learn that border patrol agents do not need a warrant, any suspicion of wrongdoing or even consent to search a vehicle and all passenger belongings, including electronic devices.
With the exception of foreign and domestic officials with diplomatic immunity, everyone who legally crosses a U.S. border undergoes a primary inspection. Most travelers are familiar with this process: A CBP officer checks your documents, glances between you and your passport and asks what your purpose is for entering the country. Following this exchange, a traveler may be asked to undergo a secondary inspection.