The Transportation Security Administration has been allowing illegal immigrants to board flights “despite not having required documents,” according to a report by the Washington Examiner.
The Examiner reported that over the past six months, migrants who have been released from federal custody have been allowed to fly regardless of whether they carried one of the 15 acceptable forms of identification.
Since the beginning of the year, the Examiner reported that over 200,000 migrants have been released by ICE due to a 2015 court ruling that mandates migrant families only be held for 20 days.
As a result, ICE often drops off families at bus stations. There, they are met by nongovernmental agencies which send volunteers to help them fly to other family members across the country.
The Examiner said that ICE “then wipes its hands clean following the releases.”
After the illegal immigrants are dropped off at the airports, the issue comes into the hands of TSA.
“TSA was unaware initially which documents its security officers required for migrants to board flights,” the report says.
While the TSA website says that people over the age of 18 boarding a flight must provide one of the 15 forms of identification, a TSA spokesperson told the Examiner that a migrant could board even if they didn’t have one of those forms.
If “they could present the document they are given when they apply for asylum,” the migrant could board.
That particular document is the Notice To Appear, Form I-862, which is not listed as one of TSA’s 15 forms of identification for boarding a flight.
This form is given by the Department of Homeland Security to migrants who have passed a fear screening and will have their asylum case decided by a federal judge.
However, the Examiner notes that in many of these cases, a judge may not hear the case for at least five years.
TSA reportedly says this document is sufficient because a migrant will have already undergone a background screening to obtain the document.
However, TSA received pushback from a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official who said TSA’s understanding of protocol was absolutely wrong.
“All travelers are required to provide proper documentation prior to flying,” a TSA spokesperson said in a statement to The Western Journal. “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.
“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.”
The agency told the Examiner that “all passengers” would be subject to “appropriate screening measures.”
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