Sen. Rick Scott Demands Answers From Mayorkas Over Policy on Illegal Aliens Boarding Flights Without IDs
Sen. Rick Scott Demands Answers From Mayorkas Over Policy on Illegal Aliens Boarding Flights Without IDs

By Aaron Pan

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is demanding information from the Biden administration, questioning the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for allowing 320,000 inadmissible illegal immigrants to fly on commercial airliners without government-issued identification.

In a letter dated March 13 to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Mr. Scott raised concerns over security risks. He condemned TSA for allegedly enabling illegal immigrants to use the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) phone app, CBP One, to enter the United States illegally.

“While American citizens and foreign visitors legally in the U.S. must present an approved form of identification to fly, TSA has chosen to allow illegal aliens with no identification to choose an alternate identity verification process operated by CBP One before flying on commercial airlines into U.S. airports,” Mr. Scott wrote.

“This reckless policy puts the authenticity of fundamental identity verification information for illegal aliens at issue, such as their name and dates of birth, potentially allowing secret agents, terrorists, and other criminals to adopt a new identity here in the United States.”

A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) earlier this month revealed that the Biden administration has approved “secretive flights” transporting 320,000 illegal immigrants from Latin America to 43 U.S. airports since 2022.

The effort is part of the administration’s “lawful pathways” strategy to reduce the number of illegal crossings at the southern border, the CIS report stated. The program allows asylum seekers to schedule an appointment using the CBP One app instead of rushing to the Texas border.

In the letter, the senator from Florida raised the alarm about this TSA screening policy, saying, “CBP routinely paroles inadmissible illegal aliens into the U.S. under a self-provided name and date of birth, which has allowed other agencies like TSA to later rely on the uncorroborated CBP One data as if it were verified.”

Reports from CNN and a Washington-based think tank, Atlantic Council, found that Venezuela, one of the countries under the program, might issue passports and IDs to people in the Middle East, including those who are connected to the terrorist group Hezbollah.

“DHS has intentionally made our country more vulnerable to adversaries with dangerous policies that put Americans and fellow passengers at great risk and weaken U.S. national security,” Mr. Scott said.

Mr. Scott requested that Secretary Mayorkas provide information regarding this program, including the airports’ names, the airlines’ names, and the number of unaccompanied alien children. He also asked whether TSA identifies any passengers that pose a national security threat and how TSA verifies the IDs of citizens from countries that do not have diplomatic relations with the United States.

‘Very Dangerous Threats’

On March 11, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned during his testimony on Capitol Hill that the surge in illegal crossings along the southern border threatens Americans’ safety.

“From an FBI perspective, we are seeing a wide array of very dangerous threats that emanate from the border,” he said.

“And an awful lot of the violent crime in the United States is at the hands of gangs who are themselves involved in the distribution of that fentanyl.”

Mr. Wray also warned that the FBI is “very concerned” about a particular human smuggling network whose overseas facilitators have ties to ISIS.

Furthermore, the FBI director said that the bureau has observed a heightened terrorist threat level, with foreign terrorist groups calling for attacks against the United States to a degree that the FBI hasn’t seen “in a long time.”

Parole Program

On March 8, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Biden administration by dismissing a lawsuit brought by Republican-led states regarding the immigration parole program.

Under the program, an immigrant must apply ahead of time for parole by providing the name of a person who will agree to financially support him or her if the application is approved.

The immigrant must also pass a background check and appear at a Port of Entry rather than entering the United States illegally.

The Biden administration introduced the program in January 2023, allowing up to 30,000 people from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela to legally enter the United States each month. As of November 2023, about 234,000 nationals from these countries had entered the United States via this program, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security.

Emel Akan and Aldgra Fredly contributed to this report.

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