When some illegal immigrants are released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they are literally flying from the border, reportedly without valid identification.
The border crisis has put such a strain on bus lines and local accommodation that the Transport Security Administration (TSA) is apparently violating its own security measures, the Washington Examiner reported Friday.
For six months now, the TSA has been ignoring the rules it created to make the skies safer for travelers in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. There are 15 documents that the TSA considers to be valid for a passenger to board an aircraft. Illegal immigrants typically hold none of these.
Since January, ICE has been forced to release more than 200,000 migrants who arrived illegally to the U.S. but arrived nonetheless as a family. According to the Examiner, a 2015 court order forbade ICE from keeping families in detention for more than 20 days so when that time limit is reached, the agency usually drops the migrants off on the streets or at a bus station where they are free to travel. (RELATED: Report: ICE Dumps Off Illegal Immigrants On Streets Of Texas)
But some are choosing to travel by air. Yet the TSA website says anyone over the age 18 who hopes to board a domestic or international flight “must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.”
The only document migrants might have in their possession would be a Notice To Appear (NTA) paper, something they receive from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after their initial refugee assessment. The document is a literal promise to appear before an immigration judge who will decide whether the migrant is a real refugee or not. (RELATED: Attorney General Bill Barr Cracks Down On Catch-And-Release For Asylum Seekers)
The NTA is not on the TSA’s list of approved travel documents and USCIS told the Examiner that the form does not provide any authorization for the individual to fly.
According to the Examiner, when informed that the NTA was not a valid travel document, the TSA suggested migrants might be in possession of a USCIS employment card and they could use that as ID.
But the USCIS told the Examiner, would-be refugees can only get an employment card six months after their claim of having a “credible fear” of going back to their country of origin has been approved.
The United States is experiencing its highest level of illegal immigration in more than a decade.