TSA Admits Allowing Illegal Migrants to Fly With ICE Form as ID

Article author: 
Jennifer G. Hickey
Article publisher: 
Article date: 
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Article category: 
National Issues
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Contrary to previous assertions, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has admitted it has allowed individuals to board airplanes using Notice to Appear forms given to them after illegally entering the United States, the Gateway Pundit reports.

The Aug. 7 letter sent by the TSA to Texas Republican Kenny Marchant, a member of the Border Security Caucus, was prompted by reports made by officials with the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) that illegal immigrants were being allowed to board planes by TSA with only a Notice to Appear issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The letter says the Notice to Appear, known as I-862, "may be used along with another form of identification in this instance." The Notice to Appear form has no photo, or any security features, including watermarks.

The letter to Marchant continues, "As part of the issuance process for Form I-862, the person undergoes a biographic systems check, and a biometric systems check against both the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and the Automated Biometric Identification System prior to the issuance of Form I-862. TSA needs to be able to assess a wide range of information proffered by a passenger in order to investigate the passenger’s identity and make sure that watch list matching has occurred."

After the initial story broke in July by Breitbart News' Brandon Darby, a TSA spokesman insisted on Twitter that the article and allegations were "completely wrong."

In July, Darby spoke with Hector Garza, who works for the local NBPC affiliate in Laredo, Texas, who said the TSA was "allowing them to travel commercially using paperwork that could easily be reproduced or manipulated on any home computer."

Other news outlets also reported the allegations made by NBPC officials.

"Late last week, we were told by Border Patrol agents in Laredo, Texas, that they had observed TSA accepting I-862 notice to appear in court documents from illegal aliens who had just been released from Border Patrol custody, and allowing them to fly," Shawn Moran, NBPC vice president, told KFOX14.

"We did receive reports that in El Paso, illegal aliens were walked around security, much to the dismay of U.S. citizens who were standing in line waiting to be screened," he added.

At the time, the TSA denied in a statement that the Notice to Appear document was "an acceptable form of primary ID at the TSA checkpoint."

In a statement issued July 11, the NBPC said it learned that as recently as July 9, illegal immigrants had been processed by Border Patrol agents in the Laredo Sector, were released with an I-862 Notice to Appear, and used that document as identification to board flights leaving from Laredo International Airport.

"Border Patrol agents witnessed illegal aliens present the I-862s to Transportation Security Administration officers, who accepted the form, and cleared the illegal aliens through a security checkpoint. The Border Patrol agents notified the TSA officers that the I-862 is not a government-issued form of identification. The TSA officer then notified a supervisor, who reviewed the documents, made copies, and told the Border Patrol agents that because the documents were issued by the Border Patrol that TSA was willing to accept them. Another supervisor looked over the documents and said they were going to forward them to their national headquarters for guidance.

"Subsequent inquiries made by National Border Patrol Council representatives indicate that TSA in Laredo has been accepting these documents as valid identification to travel for several weeks," the council statement said.

They also responded to TSA's denials by stating that the union stands "behind the statements of Border Patrol agents and are confident that surveillance from the Laredo Airport will support these assertions. Any thorough investigation will show that TSA officers and supervisors were aware that the individuals were illegal aliens, had no valid identification, and were still cleared to fly."