Illegal Aliens: Poor Documentation at Airport TSA Checkpoints

According to a Mar. 20, 2024 letter sent to TSA Director David Pekoske from Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, "TSA is reportedly allowing aliens without verifying identity documents to pass through airport security checkpoints" nationwide." Instead, TSA is "relying on unverified biographical information gathered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through the CBP One application (CBP One)," the letter continues. The CBP One app allegedly allows many illegal aliens to go through airport TSA checkpoints with minimal identification while Americans are required to undergo rigorous security checks. This has some Americans up in arms. Sonya LaBosco and the Air Marshal National Council have partnered closely with the Committee to keep pressure on Pekoske to address this and other national security issues.

While some illegals are sailing through TSA checkpoints, Americans must provide the proper TSA-approved photo IDs and are seemingly required to submit to facial recognition technology (CAT-2) used at American airportsCredential Authentication Technology (CAT-2) (biometric scanners) is the newest security "enhancement" at 60 airports nationwide. There are plans to expand the program to more than "400 federalized airports over the coming years." It is true (I just did it myself) that Americans may choose to opt out of the biometric scan at the TSA checkpoint. However, there is no visible signage to indicate the scans are "optional," and most people are afraid to question the requirement. On the other hand, at least in some airports, illegals benefit from signage telling them that optical scans are optional. 

CBP One: Entry With Self Reported Documentation

The CBP One app is being used liberally at our nation's borders, including our airports, allegedly to make the immigration process more efficient. The app allows illegals to schedule an appointment with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to expeditiously grant them temporary human parole. The aliens are then released into the interior U.S. with a "notice to appear." In many cases the appearance comes years after their entry. About 35 percent never appear for their immigration status hearing.

The Biden administration has justified its expanded humanitarian parole programs as a way to encourage "lawful" entry by illegals into the U.S. What started as a program reserved for aliens from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela (CHNV), the CBP One app as a vehicle for parole has now expanded to many other countries. Robust documentation from most of the countries on the list is weak. And there are countless reports of illegal aliens ditching their real identities for fake ones. Much of the information provided to TSA agents is "self-reported." The letter confirms much of the information collected on the CBP One app is "self-reported and may not be sufficient to verify the identity of the alien [and] is the foundational data subsequently used to confirm an alien's identity by other agencies, including TSA." 

Because of an ongoing FOIA lawsuit, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reports that more than 320,000 "inadmissible aliens" were flown to 43 American airports in 2023 alone. Armed with ridiculous excuses and delay tactics, TSA officials have refused to disclose which airports participate here and abroad. CIS's litigation prompted DHS to say "[t]he public can't know the receiving airports because those hundreds of thousands of CBP-authorized arrivals have created such "operational vulnerabilities" at airports that "bad actors" could undermine law enforcement efforts to "secure the United States border" if they knew the volume of CBP One traffic processed at each port of entry."

In late October, Green's Committee finally received some of the requested documents on the expanded use of the CBP One app from DHS after months of prodding–with some alarming findings. The initial request was filed in early June. The documents cover the period between Jan. 12, 2023, and Sept. 30, 2023. Among other statistics, "overall, 95.8 percent of all inadmissible aliens who scheduled appointments through the app during this time were ultimately issued a "Notice to Appear" (NTA) and released into the United States on parole." Some of the other troubling statistics are summarized below:

Green also confirmed reporting from the Washington Examiner that "cartels are using virtual private networks (VPN) to skirt requirements that aliens signing up for appointments at ports of entry via CBP One be present in northern Mexico before making the appointment. Using these VPNs, the cartels can exploit vulnerabilities in the app and schedule appointments for individuals regardless of their location—all for a fee—and they advertise this "service" on social media."

The Committee stated its concerns over biographical information collected from aliens "may be insufficient to screen and vet individuals for potential security concerns." Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott testified, "The vetting process has critical limitations." Scott also cited a lack of cooperation by various countries "to share law enforcement data." Or the aliens throw away their actual identification documents and "create new, unverifiable identities."

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