The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been allowing migrants to fly to other parts of the U.S. without proper identification.
The TSA was founded following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Since its founding, the TSA has clamped down on all air travel into the United States. From limiting the amount of liquids one can fly with to forcing passengers to be scanned or patted down, the TSA’s rules don’t seem to bend for any traveler.
But that seems to have changed.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, the TSA has been allowing migrants to board flights in the United States without proper identification. The TSA’s website lists 15 identification options that must be presented prior to flying in the U.S. if the individual is over the age of 18.
A TSA spokesperson told the Examiner that they were allowing migrants to board flights after crossing the border into the United States, as long as they presented their Notice To Appear (Form I-862) — a court order that is issued while migrants wait for their asylum hearing.
Form I-862 is not listed as an option on the TSA’s website of legal documents to present prior to boarding a flight in the United States.
The TSA spokesperson justified the separate identification standards for migrants because they should have already been given a background check by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when they were given the Notice to Appear.
The Examiner followed up with USCIS to verify that migrants are reviewed and meet the TSA criteria for travel, but the agency said the Notice to Appear is only to alert the individuals of their pending court date — not clear them for travel.
In a statement to the Examiner, the TSA brushed the identification discrepancy off and said that the agency allows unlisted government documents because the travelers still have to go through the standard security screenings.
“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.”
Still, it appears as though TSA is allowing a separate identification standard for migrants as its website still says travelers will be denied if they “chose to not provide proper identification.”
As IJR previously reported, the number of migrants crossing the border has skyrocketed with more than 100,000 crossings each month since March. With ICE detention facilities at capacity, 65% of the migrants are being released directly into the U.S. to travel throughout the country until their asylum court date — which could be years away.