Many international travelers trying to enter the U.S. were met with massive delays Friday afternoon, as the nation's Customs and Border Protection faulted a temporary computer system outage that forced its agents to process travelers manually for several hours.
The outage apparently struck sometime Friday afternoon, but the scope of the issue – and how many airports it hit – wasn't immediately clear. Several of the nation's largest international airports including New York City-JFK (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD), and others confirmed they had been affected.
By 6 p.m. CST, Customs and Border Protection said its systems were back online.
“There is no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time,” the agency said on Twitter
But in the meantime, the internet was full of photos and videos of enormous backups and lines trying to get through customs and immigration.
Nationwide outage of US CBP computer systems. Easily 5,000+ passengers in line at Dulles. pic.twitter.com/JGJD95sfFx
— Rebekah Tromble (@RebekahKTromble) August 16, 2019
Earlier Friday, Customs and Border Protection said that it was “experiencing a temporary outage with its processing systems at various air ports of entry & is taking immediate action to address the technology disruption. CBP officers continue to process international travelers using alternative procedures until systems are back online.”
“CBP officers are working to process travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security,” the agency added.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for more updates.