TSA accepts arrest, deportation warrants as ID for migrants at airport security screening

Jennie Taer, DCNF

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, according to a letter the Daily Caller News Foundation exclusively obtained.

Responding to Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden’s Dec. 15 inquiry about migrants flying across the country, TSA Administrator David Pekoske explained that certain Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents may be considered acceptable forms of alternate identification for non-citizens, including a “Warrant for Arrest of Alien” and a “Warrant of Removal/Deportation.”

“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.

TSA Response to Gooden by Daily Caller News Foundation

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.

TSA said it relies on agencies such as CBP or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which issue the documents to migrants, to verify that the name on the document used as alternate identification “is the person whom the person claims to be.”

Gooden earlier told the DCNF that he was told by a border patrol officer that “they often have to take migrants at their word that they are who they say they are” when issuing DHS documents accepted by TSA as alternate forms of identification.

If an identity cannot be verified through a database search, an airport’s Federal Security Director (FSD) is left to determine any extra screening process or decide to deny the individual entry, according to the letter.

The letter stated that from Jan. 1, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2021 the NTVC processed 45,577 non-citizens and non-U.S. nationals seeking validation of their DHS documents, 44,947 of which had their documents verified through the NTVC.

TSA used CBP One around 60,000 times between Jan. 1, 2021 and Oct. 31, 2021, the letter added.

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