Missouri AG calls on Mayorkas to end TSA policy allowing migrants to use civil arrest warrants at airports

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Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday to end a policy allowing migrants to use civil immigration arrest warrants as identification at U.S. airports, accusing the department of a “willful disregard for the safety of the American people.”

“The idea that a federal law enforcement agency would look the other way as individuals openly admit – indeed provide documentation of the fact – that they are fugitives from American justice stretches and strains credulity,” Schmitt wrote in a letter to Mayorkas. “So egregious is this open and willful disregard for the rule of law and for the welfare of American citizens that I would not have believed it had not the TSA verified that it was true.”

TSA confirmed to Fox News on Friday that it is allowing the warrants, which represent civil immigration enforcement and are not criminal arrest warrants, as an alternative. 

Schmitt noted that his state has brought several lawsuits against the Biden administration, including having former President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy reinstated. “Over the past 12 months, the state of Missouri has successfully challenged DHS’s illegal policies on matters of immigration and open borders,” he wrote.

Eric Schmitt, Missouri attorney general, speaks during a news conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.  Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

He said the TSA policy “continues to erode the trust citizens once had for” Homeland Security. 

He wrote that Missouri is the “Show-Me State” and suggested if the department doesn’t stop “ignoring the rule of law, turning a blind eye as hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens flood our borders and openly pass through TSA screening as they are surreptitiously resettled in American communities, often under the cover of darkness” then it should start calling itself the “Department of Homeland Secrecy.”

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during the 90th Winter Meeting of USCM on January 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

He said the Biden administration’s “reluctance to arrest illegal immigrants” and policies like the TSA rule made “under cover of darkness” added up to a “breach of trust.”

“Therefore, as the elected chief law enforcement officer of the State of Missouri, I demand that you immediately reverse these secret and ill-advised immigration policies,” he concluded. 

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent screens a traveler at a checkpoint
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Republican Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, R-NY, and Rodney Davis, R-Ill., introduced legislation on Tuesday that would prohibit the use of civil immigration warrants as an alternative form of identification. Sen. Marco Rubio, R, Fla., and U.S. Representative Lance Gooden, R-Texas, have announced similar legislation. 

The TSA told Fox News in a statement: “All passengers whose identity is verified through alternate procedures receive additional screening before being allowed into the secure area of the airport. A TSA spokesperson stressed that the DHS-issued forms are civil immigration documents and not indicative of a public safety or national security threat.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 

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