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TSA: Americans Need Papers To Fly, But Not Illegal Aliens

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

When you head to the airport to board a commercial flight you're expected to have a government-issued ID or passport, something that shows you're who you say you are. Apparently that rule only applies to Americans and not to illegal aliens.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is allowing illegal aliens to fly on commercial flights once they're released Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and/or Border Patrol. The illegal aliens are being flown to various parts of the country for processing, seeing as how Border Patrol stations along the southern border are overwhelmed. 

Illegal aliens are allowed to board flights despite not having one of the 15 approved forms of identification. 

Acceptable forms of ID include (from the TSA website):

• Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
• U.S. passport
• U.S. passport card
• DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
• U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
• Permanent resident card
• Border crossing card
• DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
• Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
• HSPD-12 PIV card
• Foreign government-issued passport
* Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
• Transportation worker identification credential
• U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
• U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

According to the Washington ExaminerTSA has yet to change their policies or introduce a permanent solution for addressing this issue, especially as border apprehensions reach record highs. 


Here's where the issue comes in. 

Catch-and-release has been a colossal failure. Illegal aliens cross the border, find a Border Patrol agent, ask to see an immigration judge, are processed and then dumped in our communities. ICE often drops them off at bus stations and malls, at which point nongovernmental organizations, like Catholic Charities, provide rides and arrange transportation for the illegals to join their family in other cities. Once ICE drops those people off they wipe their hands and move to the next people. 

From the Examiner (emphasis mine):

A TSA spokesperson initially told the Washington Examiner migrants were allowed to board flights if they could present the document they are given when they apply for asylum. The Notice To Appear, known by DHS as Form I-862, is a paper that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will give to a person who has passed a credible fear screening and will have his or her asylum case decided by a federal judge as many as five years down the road.

TSA said the court order served as the individual’s identification because that person had already gone through a background check while in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ICE, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

However, a USCIS official said TSA’s knowledge of protocol was wrong and that the latter agency would not provide any type of travel authorization document to a person who has passed a credible fear screening. The official said the NTA has one purpose and that was to tell recipients when to show up for court.

With the pushback from USCIS, TSA said another possible document that might be used would be the USCIS employment card.

However, asylum seekers who have been released from custody cannot attain that paper until 180 days after a credible fear claim has been approved.

In its initial statement to the Washington Examiner on its own policy violation, the agency said “TSA accepts identification documentation issued by other government agencies, which is validated through the issuing agency. All passengers are then subject to appropriate screening measures.”

TSA then referred the Washington Examiner to a webpage, which still states, “You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you chose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.”

TSA issued an additional statement after publication.

“All travelers are required to provide proper documentation prior to flying. CBP, ICE and TSA have been working together for years, ensuring that those who are leaving detention facilities are provided with the proper documentation, or given additional information about proper documentation at that time," a TSA spokesperson said in an email. "TSA has always had protocols in place for those that are unable to produce documentation and need to travel. However, we expect the vast majority of travelers to appear with one of the documents listed on our website."


Multiple Border Patrol agents have told me that they have trust what the illegal alien is telling them. Most of them have no documentation on them. They tell the agents their name, and for all an agent knows, it's an alias the person made up on their way to being processed. There is absolutely no way of knowing who these people are, why they're here or if they have a criminal past if their fingerprints aren't in the system and they have no valid form of ID. 

Allowing anyone on an airplane is dangerous. We already know that "exotic" illegal aliens – those from places like Somalia and Africa – are using our southern border to enter the United States. It's only a matter of time before one of these people use our various modes of transportation to cause harm. We don't need a repeat of September 11th. If Americans have to have proper documentation and identification to get on an aircraft than illegal aliens need to have the same restrictions placed on them. 


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