Washington, DC – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has confirmed that illegal immigrants are allowed to use their arrest warrants as alternate forms of identification to board flights.
“A criminal alien shouldn’t be allowed to board a plane after presenting a warrant for their arrest,” U.S. Representative Lance Gooden (R-Texas) told FOX News in a statement. “They should be detained and brought before a judge.”
Gooden launched a probe into the TSA policies and practices in November of 2021 after a whistleblower gave his office a copy of packet of information being given to illegal immigrants by a non-profit, FOX News reported.
He described a visit to the border near San Diego where he witnessed buses full of illegal immigrants being received by well-funded non-profit groups at nearby hotels.
“They are saying where they want to go and these private groups – I don’t know where they are getting their funding – these private groups are buying them plane tickets and giving them a package of information about what to do when they get to the airport, how to get past [Transportation Security Administration] without ID, what to say and then how to enroll their children in schools when they get to where they are going,” the congressman explained.
The packet of information that his office was given showed undocumented immigrants were being given flight information, copies of the Notice to Appear from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a list of pro bono legal service providers, maps of major cities in the United States, and information and legal assistance in Spanish, FOX News reported.
There is also a letter in the packet from the non-profit that undocumented immigrants are told to hand to TSA officials.
That letter urged TSA agents to allow the person on the flight with the limited identification that they have and claimed that should be enough for the undocumented person to be searched in the Secure Flight program, according to FOX News.
“It seems very organized and premeditated and I would like to know who is behind the funding for this organization, is the state of California mismanaging federal funds, are private entities funding this, are foreign organizations funding these private entities?” Gooden asked.
“I’d like to know what sort of coordination is taking place with the countries south of us, especially Mexico, because it’s impossible for these people to so easily get here without help from the southern side of the border,” he said.
The congressman pointed out that $342 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars had gone into funding the U.N.’s International Organization of Migration operations south of the U.S. border, and questioned that group’s involvement in the scheme, FOX News reported.
He called the use of arrest warrants as ID by TSA “totally crazy.”
TSA confirmed the practice of accepting immigration arrest warrants as ID to FOX News.
“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 said in a statement.
TSA said that the arrest warrant would be validated via an “alien identification number” being checked against several Customs and Border Protection (CBP) databases, FOX News reported.
“All passengers whose identity is verified through alternate procedures receive additional screening before being allowed into the secure area of the airport,” the agency’s statement read.
The policy pre-dated President Joe Biden’s administration but the rising crisis at the border brought the issue into the forefront, FOX News reported.
The number of illegal border crossings has skyrocketed since the Biden administration rolled back former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Recent court filings showed 164,753 apprehensions in October of 2021, 173,620 in November of 2021, and 178,840 apprehensions in December of 2021, FOX News reported.
The numbers are up dramatically from a year earlier.
There were 72,113 apprehensions in November of 2020 and 73,994 in December of 2020, FOX News reported.