TSA Will Accept Illegal Aliens Driver's Privilege Card as ID to Board Aircrafts

Federation for American Immigration Reform
News article

Last week, the Transportation Security Administration ("TSA") confirmed, contrary to claims made by illegal alien lobby organizations, that it will allow illegal aliens to board commercial airlines by presenting an Oregon driver's privilege card. (Politifact Oregon Oct. 7, 2014) Oregon's driving privilege cards will be given to illegal aliens, or any applicant who cannot prove that he or she has lawful presence in the United States, and is set for considered by Oregon voters on November 4th under Ballot Measure 88. (Id.)

The controversy arose when Lars Larson, a talk show radio host based in Portland, made public letters he received from TSA stating the agency would accept Oregon's driver's privilege card for identification at the airport. (Id.) This admission is important because the language that appears on the ballot for Measure 88, referred to as its ballot title, says: "The driver card may not be used as identification for air travel, to enter a federal building, to register to vote or to obtain any government benefit requiring proof of citizenship or lawful presence in United States." (Measure 88) Causa Oregon, a local illegal alien lobbying group, insists on this point. (Politifact Oregon, Oct. 7, 2014) "Ballot Measure 88 clearly states that it will be issued only to grant driving privileges, and prohibits use of the driver cards for anything other than the listed purposes," said spokesman Erik Sorensen in an email to Politifact Oregon. (Id.)

Politifact Oregon contacted TSA to investigate Lars Larson's claims. (Id.) Nico Melendez, a Western Region TSA spokesman in California, responded, "State-issued driver cards would be acceptable forms of identification for our document-checkers at the airport. At this point, the understanding is that a card like this would be an acceptable form of identification." (Id.) He further commented, "What we are doing is verifying that the person who shows the card is the person who is traveling. It's not an immigration check." (Id.)

TSA's admittance that it will accept illegal aliens' driving privilege cards as a valid form of identification to board an aircraft is especially disturbing considering rece nt national security threats.Unlike legal immigrants, illegal aliens are not subject to stringent background checks or face-to-face interviews to determine the existence of any public safety or national security threat they might pose. Illegal aliens usually do not have valid U.S. identification or work authorization documents. Therefore, they depend on foreign or forged documents to travel on commercial airlines.

Although REAL ID Act was passed to solve this problem, it has yet to be implemented by the federal government. The REAL ID Act was passed in 2005 in response to the terrorist attacks to the United States on September 11, 2001 when the 9/11 Commission found that the 19 terrorists involved in the attack carried among them over 30 state driver's licenses and identification cards. (9/11 Commission Report) The Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting driving privilege cards issued to illegal aliens for federal identification purposes. (REAL ID ACT of 2005) The Obama administration repeatedly pushed back implementation of REAL ID, and currently purports its implementation deadline for these provisions to be January 2016. (Department of Homeland Security FAQ on REAL ID)