TSA Admits To Letting Passengers With No ID

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According to this article the TSA has sent a letter to congress admitting they are letting illegal immigrants into planes with only an I-862 notice to appear form, a form that has no photograph and relies on the information provided by a person who illegally entered the country.

If a passenger does not have an acceptable form of identification, then the passenger is allowed to present two other forms of identification. One of the two forms of identification must bear the individual’s name and other identifying information such as photo, address, phone number, social security number, or date of birth. TSA may assess a variety of government issued documents to establish passenger identity. The I-862 form may be used along with another form of identification in this instance. As part of the issuance process for Form I-862, the person undergoes a biographic systems check, and a biometric systems check against both the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and the Automated Biometric Identification System prior to the issuance of Form I-862. TSA needs to be able to assess a wide range of information proffered by a passenger in order to investigate the passenger’s identity and make sure that watchlist matching has occurred.

If a passenger can only present a Form I-862, TSA will attempt to establish the passenger’s identity through DHS partner Components, such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If other DHS Components are able to provide corroborating information (such as that the I-862 was issued to an individual with the name provided) to permit TSA to verify an individual’s identity when taken together with all other information available, the passenger is permitted into the screening checkpoint to undergo screening. If unable to verify the passenger’s identity, TSA will deny access to the screeningcheckpoint.

If either of the two alternate identity verification procedures described above is used, the passenger will receive additional screening of their person and accessible property to ensure he or she is not carrying prohibited items and does not represent a security threat to an aircraft.

Additional screening includes a pat-down and explosives detection screening of accessible property. The passenger will only be allowed into the sterile area after successfully undergoing screening at the checkpoint.

The form does not have any security features like watermarking that would prevent forgery.

Appears to me this is a security gap, verifying identify of certain passengers. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to fly with my background check and ID on file so I can enter the short line, TSA Pre.

Seems like a security gap to me. What do you think?

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. It’s not a security gap. Savvy fliers have known for a long time ID is not actually required to fly. Verifying identity does not improve security, except for the few people on the no-fly list that actually belong there. If you opt-out of providing ID, you’re going to get more intensive screening anyway, so any terrorist with half a brain would just use fake ID anyway.

  2. exactly — the point of the ID verification isn’t really to limit who’s flying. The TSA is only concerned with making sure nobody smuggles anything dangerous on board of a plane. The IDs are checked for that purpose: to check that the person who bought the ticket is flying — because what if they are on the no-fly list? The imigration status does not matter in that respect. You can be a convicted felon too for that matter and still fly.
    I’ve flown without ID once because I’d forgotten it at home… I was able to prove who I was through other documents and they took the time to check it up (and yes they gave me a more throrough security screening). In the end they let me through. I guess somebody could have faked all this supporting evidence – but then again, wouldn’t they just buy a fake ID somewhere?

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