Sen. Cruz Demands Answers From DHS Regarding Illegal Aliens’ Use of Fake IDs for Air Travel

December 21, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In case you missed it, Adam Shaw with Fox News has a new report detailing an inquiry by U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) into how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be allowing illegal aliens to fly across the country using de facto fake IDs. Currently, TSA and the Department of Homeland Security are effectively relying on the word of illegal aliens regarding their names and dates of birth—potentially allowing terrorists, cartel members, and other criminals to assume new identities, obtain DHS-issued fake IDs, and fly out of U.S. airports. Cruz outlines the concern in a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.


Key excerpts are below:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Wednesday wrote to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking more information about the screening of migrants who have come through the border via the CBP One app and are seeking 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 says in the letter to Mayorkas, 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.”

The U.S. has been allowing around 1,600 migrants a day to be paroled into the U.S. through ports of entry using the CBP One app, which allows migrants to upload photographs and other information and schedule an appointment.

Cruz, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, says that even if they do not have a passport or other way to prove their identity, they can still be paroled into the U.S.

He then says that if they try to fly out of an airport, “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.” Similarly, he says, ICE can use that data to issue a card to them under their name and date of birth.

While officials have stressed the biometric and biographical vetting that takes place for migrants at the southern border, both those entering legally via ports of entry through parole and those encountered entering illegally between the ports, conservatives have raised questions about the ability to verify those identities if they have few or no documents.

“When TSA later uses CBP One data to verify an illegal alien’s identity at an airport security checkpoint, the agency is merely comparing a live photograph or live answers to what the alien provided or told Border Patrol at the port of entry,” Cruz says. “They are not reviewing authenticated identity documents from an alien’s home country.”

Cruz also notes that while verification for migrants is free, Americans have to pay for governmental IDs at DMVs or the State Department.

He is seeking documents and information relating to the use of “acceptable alternate identification” by TSA, the “special circumstances” under which alternative ID can be used, and what happens to migrants without those forms of ID. He also wants to know the “disparate cost burden” on American citizens related to illegal immigrants, and how many passengers screened by TSA on Nov. 26 went through an alternate identity verification process.

Read the full text of Sen. Cruz’s letter HERE.