Republican senators introduce bill to block migrants from using Border Patrol app as ID at TSA checkpoints

FIRST ON FOX: Senate Republicans introduced a bill on Friday cracking down on the federal government’s use of a controversial mobile app to identify illegal immigrants traveling via airplane to the United States.

The CBP One app was first introduced during the Trump administration for cross-border transit at ports, but it was expanded last year by the Biden administration to allow migrants seeking to enter the U.S. to upload data and make appointments to be processed into the U.S.

Led by Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee, the measure, named the VALID Act, would prohibit the TSA from accepting the CBP One Mobile App, a Notice to Appear (NTA), or a Notice to Report (NTR) as legal forms of identification for the purposes of successfully passing through TSA security and boarding a plane.

The legislation would also prevent aircraft flying from foreign countries with the intent of landing at an American airport from operating in U.S. airspace if they accept the CBP One Mobile App, an NTA or an NTR as a legal form of identification.


Led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, the VALID Act would prohibit the TSA from accepting the CBP One Mobile App, a Notice to Appear, or a Notice to Report as legal forms of ID for the purposes of successfully passing through TSA security and boarding a plane. (Getty Images)

“Every American needs to show ID to enter our country. Why has our government made it simpler for illegal immigrants to enter and fly around the nation than for our fellow citizens? As America grapples with an unprecedented invasion at our southern border, the VALID Act resolves to close the loopholes that have allowed 200,000 illegal immigrants into the country unchecked,” Lee told Fox News Digital.

“The Biden administration’s policies have blatantly facilitated this crisis, encouraging illegal immigration and compromising our national security,” he added.

According to DHS, up to 1,450 migrants are currently allowed into the country each day at ports of entry via parole. Separately, the CBP One app is used to bring in up to 30,000 migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela each month via a separate parole process.

Republicans have repeatedly accused the administration of abusing the parole law, which the administration has denied. They have also raised concerns about the use of the CBP One app to verify documentation when boarding airplanes.

CBP has stressed that those who have entered the country are vetted using biographic and biometric information, and those who are paroled have already provided a photograph. Parolees are not granted an automatic path to citizenship, and Republicans have said that the CBP One app is being used to waive in otherwise illegal immigrants. Many have expressed skepticism about how the verification can match that of those going through normal processes.

Migrants stand on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border, on the banks of the Rio Grande, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on March 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)


Lee’s measure is co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Roger Marshall of Kansas.

“Biden’s TSA has made the choice to allow illegal aliens with no verified identification to use the CBP One Mobile App before flying on commercial airlines into U.S. airports. This is unacceptable and dangerous,” Scott said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “The Biden administration has intentionally made our country more dangerous with policies that put Americans at great risk and weaken U.S. national security. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation to keep Americans safe.”

The bill has also been endorsed by a handful of conservative and immigration-related groups, including the America First Policy Institute, the Immigration Accountability Project, and the Eagle Forum.

Chad Wolf, the formeracting Homeland Security secretary who now serves as the executive director of the America First Policy Institute, told Fox News the bill is “an important step” to ensuring the safety of Americans.

“Shortly after 9/11, the U.S. Congress, through the REAL IDAct, recognized the importance of establishing certain security standards for identification documents to fly on commercial aircraft,” Wolf said. “Each presidential administration since 9/11 has worked diligently to bring more security to our skies.Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s policy of allowing illegal aliens to use documents with unverifiable and unvetted information to board commercial aircraft defies common sense and congressional will and makes it easier for illegal aliens to travel than U.S. citizens and legal immigrants.”

Immigrants line up at a remote U.S. Border Patrol processing center after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on December 07, 2023, in Lukeville, Arizona. (John Moore/Getty Images)

“The administration’s unlawful use of the CBP One app to mass parole inadmissible aliens into American communities raises both legal and public safety concerns,” he added. “TheVALIDActis an important step in reining in these abuses and ensuring the safety of the American people.”

The administration has pushed back on criticism of the use of the app, saying that those without ID go through a “stringent identity matching process” and additional screening, and are denied boarding if they cannot be identified. Those who pose threats to security or public safety are turned over for investigation.

“The Department of Homeland Security works to detect and prevent individuals who pose national security or public safety risks from entering the secure areas of an airport to depart on a domestic flight or entering the United States upon arrival from another country,” a spokesman told Fox News Digital in February. “Recent reports that noncitizens have lower security bars for traveling on domestic flights are false. Noncitizens without acceptable forms of ID must undergo additional, more robust screenings to fly within the United States.”

Kyle Morris covers politics for Fox News. Story tips can be sent via email and on X: @RealKyleMorris.

Check Also

Trump-backed John Lee wins GOP primary in competitive Nevada House race

Former North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee has won the Republican primary for Nevada’s 4th …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *