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'CBP One' app managing migrants facing tech issues, low ratings

The app currently has a rating of 2.5 out of 5 on the Apple App Store and a 2.7 on the Google Play Store

CBP One | Shutterstock

March 3, 2023 6:58am

Updated: March 3, 2023 12:55pm

The Department of Homeland Security’s app to process migrants seeking asylum, CBP One app, faces several tech issues and low scores in app stores, drawing in critics. 

The application was first released in 2020 to work as a portal for several Customs and Border Protection services.

However, after a record-breaking 2.4 million migrants entered the country in 2022, the Biden administration expanded its use to include scheduling asylum application appointments at the southern border’s ports of entry.

Through the app, migrants can submit their information and asylum application for border officials to review, as well as schedule an appointment with an official up to 14 days in advance. 

“The CBP One app is an innovative solution we are using to facilitate the safe and orderly arrival of noncitizens who believe they meet certain vulnerability criteria and are requesting a humanitarian exception to the CDC’s Title 42 Order," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in January. 

"When Title 42 eventually lifts, this new feature will join one of the many tools and processes this administration is providing for individuals to seek protection in a safe, orderly, and humane manner and to strengthen the security of our borders."

Despite the application’s promises, users have complained that it is plagued with tech difficulties. Disgruntled users claim that the app crashed when they try to upload any information for the asylum application, hindering their asylum claims and delaying the process. 

"I have applied for some family members located in Venezuela for Humanitarian Parole," one user said. "When trying to send the information right after taking the picture the app throws an error stating ‘SESSION EXPIRED, TRY AGAIN.’ We’ve tried over and over and nothing works."

Other errors that have been brought up include the app’s failure to recognize darker skin colors when using facial recognition technology, as well as scheduling different appointment times for members of the same family. 

The app’s problems are also reflected in its score on the app stores: it currently has a rating of 2.5 out of 5 on the Apple App Store and a 2.7 on the Google Play Store.