By Corinne Murdock |
Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) is requesting information on the Biden administration’s practice of flying illegal immigrants without proper identification around the country. Biggs leads a coalition of 24 Republicans in seeking answers, which includes Congressmen Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08).
In a press release, Biggs accused the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of using taxpayer dollars to help illegal immigrants reach their desired destinations, further incentivizing illegal crossings. Biggs argued further that the ID standard for illegal immigrants compromises post-9/11 security measures.
“Transporting potentially tens of thousands of lawbreakers throughout the country — with virtually unknown backgrounds — is a national security risk and defies the recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission,” stated Biggs.
In the letter, the coalition noted that about 45,000 illegal immigrants flew without proper ID from last January to October.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), illegal immigrants may use papers related to their immigration processing such as the notice to appear (DHS Form I-862), warrants for arrest of alien (ICE Form I-200) and removal/deportation (ICE Form I-220A), order of supervision (ICE Form I-220B), arrival and departure form (CBP Form I-94), and alien booking record (DHS Form I-385).
Unlike illegal immigrants, American citizens must present a form of government-issued photo ID; alternative IDs like weapon permits and temporary driver’s licenses aren’t acceptable forms of ID.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske claimed in his Senate confirmation hearing last month that less than 1,000 illegal immigrants flew without proper ID this calendar year. Biggs’ coalition challenged that claim as “extremely low” since DHS has released nearly 500,000 illegal immigrants into the country this year.
Pekoske asserted during last month’s hearing that the immigration papers in question offered similar security to traditional forms of ID because they were issued by Border Patrol or a customs officer, and that TSA validated the papers using an alien identification number reflected in Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) databases.
“We aren’t looking at whether a person is legal or illegal in the country,” said Pekoske. “Our role is to make sure that people who may pose a risk to transportation that is significant enough to require enhanced screening or to not allow them to fly.”
The latest CBP reporting shows about 3.5 million illegal immigrant encounters along the southern border since President Joe Biden took office.
The TSA hasn’t been consistently forthright about its allowance of illegal immigrants flying without government-issued photo ID.
In 2014, TSA confirmed that they began accepting notices to appear as acceptable travel ID.
Then in 2017, TSA informed the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) that they did allow notices to appear.
Yet in 2019, TSA publicly denied that they allowed illegal immigrants to present immigrant processing papers.
In January, Congressmen Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY-11) and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) introduced legislation to prohibit the TSA from allowing illegal immigrants to board planes with alternative forms of ID.
Other congressmen in Biggs’ coalition include Mo Brooks (R-AL-05), Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03), Ken Buck (R-CO-04), Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14), Jody Hice (R-GA-10), Mary Miller (R-IL-15), Ron Estes (R-KS-04), Andy Harris (R-MD-01), Tom McClintock (R-MN-04), Dan Bishop (R-NC-09), Scott Perry (R-PA-10), Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Ralph Norman (R-SC-05), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Bob Good (R-VA-05), and Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06).