US

GOP congressman claims ‘migrants shipped across the United States without ID are security risk’

New York Rep. John Katko is pictured in his official congressional photo

A Republican congressman has claimed that migrants are being sent across the United States without proper ID, allegedly posing a security risk to the cities where they are being sent.

New York Rep. John Katko, the top Republican on the House Committee on Homeland Security, told the New York Post that the Biden administration is shipping migrants to cities across the US without properly identifying them first.

The Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security both refuted his claims that migrants were not vetted and boarded flights without proper identification in statements provided to the outlet on Thursday.

‘They’re getting so many people coming in that they can’t process them, so what they’re doing is they’re just pushing him out of the facility as fast as they can,’ Katko told the New York Post. 

Katko claimed that he witnessed a father and son boarding a flight to Philadelphia without identification after they allegedly entered the country illegally during a trip to the Texas border last week.

Photos taken by congressman Andrew Clyde show an envelope allegedly belonging to a migrant who boarded a flight without proper ID

Photos taken by congressman Andrew Clyde show an envelope allegedly belonging to a migrant who boarded a flight without proper ID

The envelope contains a flight itinerary written in permanent marker on the front

The envelope contains a flight itinerary written in permanent marker on the front

A note attached to the back indicating that the bearer of the envelope does not speak English

A note attached to the back indicating that the bearer of the envelope does not speak English

The GOP has claimed that migrants who entered the country illegally boarded planes without a valid ID

The GOP has claimed that migrants who entered the country illegally boarded planes without a valid ID

Photos taken by congressman Andrew Clyde show an envelope with a flight itinerary written in permanent marker on the front with a note attached to the back indicating that the bearer of the envelope does not speak English.

‘PLEASE HELP. I DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH. WHAT PLANE DO I NEED TO TAKE? THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!’ the note reads. 

Katko said that officials ‘have no way of verifying’ the identity of migrants or checking to see if they are a terrorist, according to the New York Post. 

‘You get on the plane, they don’t have ID to get past security. They come across the border, they don’t have it,’ Katko said.

‘They say their name is Joe Smith, they have no way of verifying whether it’s Joe Smith, they have no way of verifying whether or not they may even be on the terror watch list, because we don’t have any of the background information.’ 

He continued: ‘These people are getting out of planes, we’re paying for tickets, don’t know who they are, don’t know whether they’re dangerous or not and they’re going to these cities.’

A spokesperson for the Homeland Security Committee told the New York Post that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying for airline and bus fare for migrants using money that is allegedly supposed to go grant funding for NGOs.

Katko claimed that an unnamed, ‘high-ranking law enforcement official’ telling him that ‘the federal government is becoming the biggest facilitator of human smuggling across the border.’ 

The congressman also referenced the temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, which Axios reported has eight soft-sided pods, each with a 32-person capacity. Katko echoed those occupancy numbers in his comments to the New York Post.

‘I mean the Donna facility, I saw tents for lack of a better term, they had children and young adults, where they’re supposed to have 33 people in there, they had hundreds,’ Katko said.

‘They’re wrapped in aluminum blankets and the kind of like stacked like cordwood all over the floor.’

However, the Chief Medical Officer for the Customs and Border Protection agency has recommended that the facility maintain an occupancy of 500 people in total during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas Migrants cross border seeking asylum, La Joya, Texas

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas Migrants cross border seeking asylum, La Joya, Texas

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas Migrants cross border seeking asylum, La Joya, Texas

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas Migrants cross border seeking asylum, La Joya, Texas

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas Migrants cross border seeking asylum, La Joya, Texas

Migrant families seeking asylum, are detained and sent to be processed before either being granted stay or expulsion in La Joya, Texas Migrants cross border seeking asylum, La Joya, Texas

The facility has reportedly seen more than 4,000 migrants crammed into soft-sided ‘pods’ despite the recommended capacity guidelines.

‘At the recommendation of our Chief Medical Officer, CBP capacity at its central processing centers and soft sided facilities is currently 50%,’ an official with the agency told DailyMail.com.

‘These facilities have large pods and adequate ventilation inside, in addition to secure open-air recreational areas outside. Capacity at permanent CBP facilities and Border Patrol stations remains at 25% because the design of their small holding areas does not enable social distancing at larger capacity.’

The official said that the CBP continues to operate under Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines during the pandemic. A spokesperson for the CDC referred comment to the Department of Homeland Security.

‘[CBP is] making every effort to mitigate long periods of processing and holding to minimize potential exposure to our workforce, those in custody, and the surrounding communities,’ an official with the CBP said.

Katko claimed that people he saw during his visit had not been tested for the coronavirus so that the facility would not have to quarantine them if they tested positive, according to the New York Post. 

‘It’s not just a humanitarian crisis, not just a security crisis, it’s going to be a crisis affecting our neighborhoods because drugs are pouring into the country at an alarming rate,’ he said.

A Department of Homeland Security spokesperson told the New York Post that it has ‘rigorous screening’ at ‘several levels’ to prevent people who pose national security or public safety risks from entering the country. 

The DHS does check migrants against ‘multiple databases’ to determine if a person poses a security threat before they are sent out of its facilities, the spokesperson said.

‘A TSA spokesperson said all travelers are required to provide proper documentation,’ the New York Post reported.


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