While American citizens require a federally issued ID with a matching photo at airports, illegal immigrants only need an arrest warrant.
That statement sounds like a Babylon Bee headline, but the Transportation Security Administration confirmed the media reports on Friday.
The agency said in a letter to Congressman Lance Gooden (R-Texas) that the “Warrant for Arrest of Alien” and a “Warrant of Removal/Deportation” are acceptable forms of alternate identification for non-citizens who must go through additional screening.
NEW: In a statement to @FoxNews, TSA confirms they are allowing illegal immigrants to use arrest warrants as ID at airport security checkpoints. They receive additional screening, and their DHS documents are validated by cross checking CBP databases. pic.twitter.com/U2PjCrOkgH
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) January 21, 2022
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) disclosed to a congressional office that migrants flying without proper identification can use an arrest warrant as an alternate form of identification when presenting to airport security. https://t.co/7cMpI1hHau
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) January 22, 2022
ICYMI – at first I thought this had to be the Babylon Bee – but it's for real.
— QueensMaryMac (@QueensMaryMac) January 22, 2022
FOX News commented:
“For non-citizens and non-U.S. nationals who do not otherwise have acceptable forms of ID for presentation at security checkpoints, TSA may also accept certain DHS-issued forms, including ICE Form I-200 (Warrant for Arrest of an Alien),” a TSA spokesperson told Fox News. That refers to a civil immigration arrest warrant, not a criminal arrest warrant.
The agency added that the document will then be validated via an “alien identification number” being checked against a number of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) databases.
“All passengers whose identity is verified through alternate procedures receive additional screening before being allowed into the secure area of the airport,” the statement said.
While the policy has been in place pre-dating the Biden administration, Republicans are raising new concerns about it amid the ongoing crisis at the southern border.
The Daily Caller added:
“TSA’s response confirms the Biden Administration is knowingly putting our national security at risk,” Gooden told the DCNF. “Unknown and unvetted immigrants shouldn’t even be in the country, much less flying without proper identification.”
“TSA is committed to ensuring that all travelers, regardless of immigration status, are pre-screened before they arrive to the airport, have their pre-screening status and identification verified at security checkpoints, and receive appropriate screening based on risk before entering the sterile area of the airport,” Pekoske wrote.
Pekoske outlined that the alien identification number found on a DHS document is processed through one or both of the following databases: the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) One mobile application or TSA’s National Transportation Vetting Center (NTVC).
Individuals who use the alternate forms of identification undergo extra screening, according to the letter.
Additionally, TSA said it screens passengers through its Secure Flight program before they enter airport security and board a plane to check if they are on terrorist database and other watch lists.
The Daily Caller shared the TSA’s response to Rep. Lance Gooden.