NEWS & ANALYSIS

SAY WHAT? Illegal Migrants Can Use Arrest Warrants as ID at Airport Security, TSA Says


Illegal immigrants flying without proper identification may present arrest warrants to airport security, according to a letter from the Transportation Security Administration. 

The letter, obtained by the Daily Caller, was in response to Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden’s inquiry about illegal immigrants flying across the country. 

TSA Administrator David Pekoske explained that certain DHS documents may be considered acceptable forms of identification for non-citizens, including a “Warrant for Arrest of Alien” and a “Warrant of Removal/Deportation.” 

But…if they have a warrant out for their deportation, why would they need to fly in the U.S.?

“TSA’s response confirms the Biden Administration is knowingly putting our national security at risk,” Rep. Gooden told the Daily Caller. “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 said 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 One mobile application or TSA’s National Transportation Vetting Center. 

Those who use the alternate forms of identification undergo extra screening, per the letter.

TSA also said it screens passengers through its Secure Flight program before they enter airport security and board a plane to check if they are on a terrorist database and other watch lists.

The letter said that from January 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021 the National Transportation Vetting Center processed 45,577 non-citizens and non-U.S. nationals using DHS documents, 44,947 of whom had their documents verified.

TSA used Customs and Border Protection One around 60,000 times between January 1, 2021 and October 31, 2021, the letter added.