Hawley seeks answers on ‘unacceptable’ TSA policy of allowing illegal immigrants to use warrants as ID

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Hawley seeks answers on ‘unacceptable’ TSA policy of allowing illegal immigrants to use warrants as ID

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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on Tuesday pushed the Biden administration for answers on what he described as an “unacceptable” policy by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to allow illegal immigrants to use civil immigration arrest warrants to board planes.

“I write with alarm over reports that you are allowing illegal aliens to present arrest warrants and notices of deportation as valid identification to pass checkpoints and board commercial airplanes,” Hawley writes in a letter to TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “This policy subverts the rule of law and should be rescinded immediately.”

SENATE REPUBLICANS QUIZ BIDEN ADMIN ON TSA ALLOWING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO USE WARRANTS AS ID 

 

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on April 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on April 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

TSA confirmed to Fox News that it is allowing the warrants, which represent civil immigration enforcement and are not criminal arrest warrants, as an alternative. The Daily Caller had first reported the TSA’s response to a congressional inquiry on the matter by Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas. 

“For noncitizens and non-U.S. nationals who do not otherwise have acceptable forms of ID for presentation at security checkpoints, TSA may also accept certain DHS-issued forms, including ICE Form I-200,” a TSA spokesperson told Fox News. That refers to a civil immigration arrest warrant.

The agency added that the document will then be validated via an “alien identification number” that involves personally identifiable information being checked against a number of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) databases, including the CBP One mobile application and TSA’s National Transportation Vetting Center (NTVC).

“To confirm the identity of an individual and ensure they are not on the no-fly list or pose a known threat to public safety or national security, TSA verifies the identity of every traveler before they are permitted to enter the secure area of an airport,” a later statement from TSA said. 

“Noncitizens without a standard form of identification may instead present certain DHS-issued forms to a TSA officer. These forms are civil immigration violation documents, do not include criminal arrest warrants and are not indicative of a threat to public safety or national security.” 

REPS MALLIOTAKIS, DAVIS INTRODUCE BILL TO BAR TSA FROM ALLOWING MIGRANTS TO USE WARRANTS TO BOARD PLANES

The practice of accepting alternative forms of IDs from illegal immigrants is a practice that predates the Biden administration, with Republicans noting that the I-862 (Notice to Appear) was greenlighted as acceptable identification during the Obama administration in 2014. But a slew of lawmakers have expressed shock at the use of the arrest warrants, which explicitly include a command for immigration authorities to “arrest [the immigrant] and take [them] into custody for removal proceedings.” 

“This is unacceptable. No government security should permit individuals to use an arrest warrant or deportation notice to pass a security check,” Hawley said.

The Missouri senator said that the point of such a warrant is for policy to apprehend those for whom they are issued, but now they are being used to board aircraft.

“This dystopian inversion exceeds the point of absurdity where radical open-border policies attempt to accomplish the very opposite of DHS’s core mission: apprehending those who cross our borders illegally,” he wrote.

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Hawley said that instead, DHS and TSA should be focusing on preventing threats entering the U.S. — noting how the alleged hostage-taker in the Texas synagogue standoff had recently entered the U.S. from the United Kingdom.

In his letter, Hawley asked questions related to how the policy was developed, how many have presented arrest warrants or deportation notices to TSA, the extra security checks in place, and how the agency believes it lessens the ongoing crisis at the southern border.

Hawley’s letter comes after 10 Republican senators led by Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., had written to DHS requesting answers to a number of questions about the controversial policy.

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