GOP Pushes for Stricter ID Laws for Migrants Boarding Planes

In the upcoming discussion about the Federal Aviation Administration, some experts in border security are pushing for Congress to pass a law that would make it harder for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to get on airplanes without using identity documents from their home countries. They argue that the Transportation Security Administration has allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants to board using less secure documents given to them during the catch-and-release process.

These groups, along with high-profile experts, are concerned that undocumented immigrants are allowed to claim any identity they want at the border, and unless their fingerprints match a crime committed in the U.S., that’s the identity the government assigns them on the catch-and-release documents. They argue that there’s no process for verifying if the name they provide is their real name or if they have a criminal record in their home country. 


Congressional Republicans have introduced legislation to prevent migrants from boarding planes unless they have a more secure identification, such as their home country passport. They want to bar migrants from using certain documents, such as an immigration court summons or a temporary pass to be in the U.S., for boarding identification.

Homeland Security has implemented a new facial recognition check for migrants attempting to board planes. However, some experts and lawmakers still believe that the upcoming congressional debate over FAA programs is the right place to have a discussion about who’s boarding the planes and how to ensure the safest air travel.

The groups argue that the U.S. must prioritize safety in air travel and point to the events of September 11, 2001, as a hard lesson learned. They are worried that allowing illegal immigrants to board planes based purely on the biographic information they provide poses a significant risk to air travel safety.

In the end, the debate over border security and airplane travel is a significant concern for some experts, Republicans in Congress, and immigration groups, and it remains to be seen how this issue will be addressed in the upcoming legislative discussion.

Written by Staff Reports

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