TSA Implements Special Line for ID-Less Travelers


Migrants traveling to New York from the Tucson Border Patrol Sector experienced a smooth journey on Friday afternoon, thanks to a special security line set up by the TSA at the Tucson International Airport. Despite lacking proper identification, these migrants were able to bypass regular security checkpoints and board flights headed to their final destinations.

This event marked the last day these migrants would spend on the U.S.-Mexico border and their first day of free movement within the country. They were escorted through the airport by non-government shelter volunteers who also explained the layout of the airport to them.

Many of the migrants were released from federal custody on their own recognizance and carried manila envelopes that contained a Notice to Appear and other documents. However, none of these documents were acceptable forms of identification according to TSA regulations.

Regular travelers were politely turned away from the special “migrant security line” because they lacked the necessary identification. This raised concerns about national security as it has been reported that one migrant on the Terrorist Watch List was released by the Border Patrol in Yuma earlier this year.

According to a source within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, over 4,000 migrants are being held in the Tucson area, exceeding the capacity of the facilities. This has forced the Border Patrol to quickly release migrants in order to make room for new arrivals, increasing the risk of potential security threats slipping through.

In a recent investigative report, the DHS Office of the Inspector General found that multiple DHS agencies failed to identify a migrant on the Terrorist Watch List who was released from custody in April 2020. This migrant was later able to travel to Tampa, Florida without being rearrested by ICE until more than two weeks later.

Border Patrol agents assigned to process migrants at the Central Processing Center also expressed concerns about the increase in apprehensions leading to a decrease in time available to review each migrant’s file, creating pressure to process them quickly. The Tucson Sector continues to lead the southwest border with nearly 119,000 apprehensions in October and November, with more than 17,000 migrants being apprehended in a single week in December.

While the special security line for migrants at the Tucson Airport may have made their journey smoother, it also raises questions about the safety and security of air travel in the midst of a surge in migrant crossings. Without proper identification, migrants are able to travel freely within the country, posing potential risks to national security.

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