American travelers are outraged by signs appearing at US airports appearing to allow migrants onto flights without showing proper identification.
US citizens traveling domestically have to show a valid identification card or a passport to board a plane, but signs at certain airports say there are different rules for some newly arrived migrants.
The signs claim the Transport Security Administration is working 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 practice, this means migrants who have entered the country using the CBP One app – some 45,000 people a month – can use it as their travel document and even choose whether to allow officers to take their picture.
Retired CBP Chief Patrol Agent Chris Clem told The Post this presents bad 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 country via the CBP One app have to give biometric information such as fingerprints and be photographed when they are interviewed at the border before being admitted to the US.
However, Clem says authorities still only have basic information about individuals at that point, and asks how authorities can be sure people are who they claim to be if they arrived at the border with no 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?
“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.
“There are so many questions we don’t have answers to be concerned about.”
Numerous reporters at the border have posted pictures of ID cards, passports and visas for travel through countries discarded at the border, often by people who do not want their real identification known to US authorities.
The TSA, CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not respond to questions from The Post.
CBP has stressed those who have entered the country are vetted using biographic and biometric information, and those who are paroled have already provided a photograph, Fox News reports.
The sign which described the separate process for migrants also noted the vetting scheme was still a pilot and being tested, rather than a permanent fixture.
Last month, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking more information about the screening of migrants who have crossed the border via the CBP One app who them went on to board flights.
“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, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, also pointed out migrants who do not have a passport or verifiable form of identification may also be inadvertently legitimized by the system, if fake names and dates of birth are accepted by CBP then printed onto 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.