Before Qiguang Li could pass through customs and step on to US soil for the first time, he faced a three-hour detention where he learned that he needed to be more candid about his identity. It was September 2015, after a long flight from Shanghai to Los Angeles. Li came with another man, Wei Xu, who asked a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer whether the two of them could go through the border screening together. “What’s your relationship?” asked the officer. They said they were friends. “Then you can’t.” So Xu went first and passed the screening. He forgot one important thing, though: Li’s travel documents were in Xu’s bag.