TSA Now Accepts Arrest Warrants From Undocumented Immigrants As ID For Airport Security

Now this just seems like next-level trolling by the Biden Administration Department of Homeland Security. The Transportation Security Administration says that undocumented immigrants “who are unable to obtain proper identification” can “pass through security using an arrest warrant to prove their identity.”

According to TSA Administrator David Pekoske,

[C]ertain Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents may be considered acceptable alternate forms of identification, including a ‘Warrant for Arrest of Alien’ and a ‘Warrant of Removal/Deportation.’

Other acceptable forms include an Order of Release on Recognizance, an Order of Supervision, a Notice to Appear, and Arrival and Departure form or an Alien Booking Record…If the traveler does not have acceptable ID, two forms of alternate ID are required and they are subject to additional screening.

Despite insistence by the government that passengers have to have a REAL ID-compliant document to pass through airport security (now delayed until May 2023), people go through security every day without presenting photo ID. The TSA then seeks alternative means of establishing identity, such as these documents and ‘challenge questions’ drawn from a commercially-developed database.

Of course it’s not clear that the documents provided to apprehended undocumented immigrants reference their actual names, before crossing the border I’d probably practice saying that I was born in East L.A.. Nonetheless, “DHS said that an average of 159 passengers fly throughout the U.S. using these DHS-issued documents per day.”

According to TSA’s administrator,

[The agency] is committed to ensuring that all travelers, regardless of immigration status, are pre-screened before they arrive to the airport, have their pre-screening status and identification verified at security checkpoints, and receive appropriate screening based on risk before entering the sterile area of the airport

He’s gaslighting of course because TSA claims to need to establish identity in order to match travelers against a database, so if the identity provided on these documents isn’t verified then there really is no “pre-screen[ing] before they arrive to the airport.” There is, of course, a nude-o-scope, option for full body massage, and ban on bringing bottled water through the checkpoint.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] This process is meaningless, though, if people can change the name they fly under. So in 2005 Congress passed requirements for IDs that are harder to fake. Since then, however, rules requiring people to actually have a ‘REAL ID’ have been kicked down the road. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic I said this would be the perfect excuse to delay it again because nobody wanted travelers hassled or refused entry past security weeks before a presidential election. So they pushed it out to March 3, 2023. […]


  1. They are screened like a Selectee. DHS Warrant of Removal’s have been used for YEARS. NOW someone wants to make a big deal of it? Go find something better to complain about… LIKE OUR HOMELESS VETERANS… Or no Term Limits for politicos…. Or Trump and his ilk are not in federal prison awaiting Sedition charges, Says a retired DoD SA & retired FAA / DHS FAM, SA and Inspector.

  2. @Comrade GIJANE – One does not arrest people you don’t like, put them in prison, then go about fishing for charges. This isn’t China, though I’m sure you enthusiastically admire their flexible approach to “justice”. Probably even admire the fact that they send the family a bill for the ammunition expended when said “justice” is delivered.

    The fact that you were anywhere close to the law enforcement system and could write the above has me more than a little afraid.

  3. The geniuses in this comment section have no real enemies, therefore they create enemies to fear and therefore hate.The propaganda above (“article”) forgot to mention that the arrest warrants are for the people in handcuffs standing next to the Air Marshal showing TSA who their prisoners are. They have been doing this for 30+ years: it is called”extradition to another state.”

    The terrified, quivering, gutless clowns who have posted here anger at law enforcement doing this wish to believe the prisoners just show up by themselves and use arrest warrants as ID— they need to hate imaginary people for their pitiful lives instead of correctly blaming the people they vote for.

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