US Immigration Computers Are Back Up After Outage Wreaks Havoc at Airports

Jan 2, 2018

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US immigration computer systems are back up after a massive outage brought immigration lines to a standstill at airports across the US on Monday. International travelers waited in lines hundreds deep when the systems went down for two hours.

In what it called a “processing system outage,” US Customs and Border Protection said the system went down around 7:30pm EST and was back up at all airports around 9:30pm. Among the affected airports were immigration-heavy ones such as New York-JFK, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL), Denver (DEN) and Miami (MIA).

Though it didn’t say what caused the failure, the agency said that there was no reason to believe that the system was hacked or otherwise tampered with, and added that passengers were processed by other means.

That seemed of little comfort to those returning from holidays overseas, who took to social media to complain.

“No one has been getting past JFK Airport immigration for the last hour,” Jessica Yang wrote on Twitter. “Line is a few 100 deep. Seems like their system died completely down. Happy new year!”

Computer outages have bedeviled immigrations and customs officials and travelers over the past few years, including in 2015 and almost exactly a year ago.

Featured image, of Chicago O’Hare (ORD) in May 2016, courtesy of Scott Olson/Getty Images.

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