American travelers are incensed by signs emerging at US airports that seem to enable migrants to board planes without appropriate documentation.
US residents flying domestically must produce a valid identity card or passport to board an aircraft, but signage at certain airports indicate that some freshly arriving migrants face different regulations.
The placards state that the Transportation Security Administration is collaborating with Customs and Border Protection to “validate adult non-US citizen travel documentation when the traveler does not otherwise have an acceptable form of identification.”
In effect, this means that migrants who enter the nation using the CBP One app – around 45,000 individuals every month – may use it as a travel document and even select whether to allow officials to photograph them.
Chris Clem, a retired CBP Chief Patrol Agent, told The NY Post that this is horrible optics.
“I’m an American citizen and I’m quite offended that these migrants that have come in here are getting preferential treatment and being prioritized in so many ways,” he said.
“The rest of us are paying the price at gas pump and grocery stores. Tax is going up. Yet [the US is] continuing to bring masses of people [in].”
“[The Administration’s mentality is] to try and make it the most humane and pleasurable experience for these poor people under distress because it is such a tough ordeal to navigate an American airport…but you’ve gotta be kidding me, many of them just came from Middle East, traversed seven countries, used apps to get here, and we’re supposed to believe Phoenix Airport might be all to much for them …ridiculous!”
Those who enter the nation using the CBP One app must provide biometric information such as fingerprints and be photographed when examined at the border before being permitted to the US.
However, Clem claims that authorities still only have basic information on individuals at that stage, and he questions how authorities can be certain that people are who they claim to be if they arrive at the border without a passport or ID card.
“We’re basing it all off what this person is telling us and a minimum system of information,” he said.
“Do we really know who they are? Did they use the app or did a smuggler do it all for them?” he asked.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin provided more evidence of this identification double standard on the social media platform X.
“If you’re a known criminal, the likelihood of you giving the same name when coming into another country is pretty low unless you’re a dumb criminal,” he continued.
“There are so many questions we don’t have answers to be concerned about,” he added.
Numerous border reporters have shared photos of ID cards, passports, and permits for passage across nations abandoned at the border, frequently by persons who do not want their true identify revealed to US officials.
The TSA, CBP, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) all declined to answer inquiries from The Post.
CBP has said that people who have entered the nation are screened using biographic and biometric information, and those on parole have already submitted a picture, according to Fox News.
The notice describing the different procedure for migrants also said that the screening method was still a trial program being evaluated, rather than a permanent fixture.
Last month, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting further information on the screening of migrants who crossed the border using the CBP One app and then boarded aircraft.
“While Americans must present an acceptable form of identification to fly, or at least have their identities confirmed, TSA is permitting illegal aliens without ID to opt for an alternate identity verification process utilizing the…’CBP One’ app,” Cruz wrote in the letter, saying the process “takes illegal aliens at their word” on certain data and allows them to obtain DHS documents and fly out of airports.”
“In effect, TSA is applying one standard for verifying the identities of American citizens, and another, weaker standard for ‘verifying’ the identities of illegal aliens. This is alarming,” Cruz added.
Cruz, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, also noted that migrants without a passport or verifiable form of identity may be unwittingly legitimized by the system if phony names and dates of birth are approved by CBP and written on government-issued ID cards.
“TSA may use his unverified name and date of birth in CBP One to verify his identity, even though the person may in fact be a terrorist or other criminal traveling under a fake identity,” he wrote.
The DHS said that all passengers have the ability to refuse computerized face recognition, and that any noncitizen who presents a danger to public safety would be arrested and prosecuted.
According to one DHS official, using CBP One to verify noncitizens’ identities enables TSA to confirm their identity. The collaboration between CBP and TSA on this improved security initiative started in 2021.
However, the apparent difference in TSA screening procedures is enough for many airline passengers to question the identification double standard, as well as the justification of enhanced security procedures carried out in the name of protecting citizens from ‘domestic terrorism.’