It Is Becoming Very Obvious That Common Sense And Government Just Don’t Mix

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has allowed migrants released from the custody of other Homeland Security agencies to board flights to other parts of the country despite the passengers lacking any of the 15 documents it states are the only acceptable forms of identification. This has been going on for six months. Didn’t we learn our lesson on September 11th?

The article reports:

A TSA spokesperson initially told the Washington Examiner migrants were allowed to board flights if they could present the document they are given when they apply for asylum. The Notice To Appear, known by DHS as Form I-862, is a paper that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will give to a person who has passed a credible fear screening and will have his or her asylum case decided by a federal judge as many as five years down the road.

TSA said the court order served as the individual’s identification because that person had already gone through a background check while in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ICE, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

However, a USCIS official said TSA’s knowledge of protocol was wrong and that the latter agency would not provide any type of travel authorization document to a person who has passed a credible fear screening. The official said the NTA has one purpose and that was to tell recipients when to show up for court.

With the pushback from USCIS, TSA said another possible document that might be used would be the USCIS employment card.

However, asylum seekers who have been released from custody cannot attain that paper until 180 days after a credible fear claim has been approved.

In its initial statement to the Washington Examiner on its own policy violation, the agency said “TSA accepts identification documentation issued by other government agencies, which is validated through the issuing agency. All passengers are then subject to appropriate screening measures.”

TSA then referred the Washington Examiner to a webpage, which still states, “You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you chose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.”

So I guess it is easier to get on a plane as an illegal alien than as an American citizen. What a mess. It would be considerably easier just to get control of our southern border.

I Think We Have Gone Over The Edge

The Daily Wire is reporting today that the TSA will be replacing many of its pointy-eared dogs at airports with floppy-eared dogs. It seems that children are less scared of the floppy-eared dogs. So this decision was made not on the basis of public safety, but on the basis of children who might be intimidated by dogs with pointy ears.

The article reports:

“We find the passenger acceptance of floppy ear dogs is just better. It presents just a little bit less of a concern,” Pekoske added. “Doesn’t scare children.”

My former Examiner colleague Anna Giaritelli reports that the TSA currently has 1,200 doggos across the country performing security checks, and about 80% have floppy ears (such as Labradors or Golden Retrievers). In order to phase out the remaining 20%, the TSA is replacing retiring pointed-ear dogs with their floppy-eared cousins. Further, the TSA is purchasing sporting or hunting breeds, since they are easier to find.

“TSA uses five types of sporting breeds: Labrador Retrievers, German Short-haired Pointers, Wirehaired Pointers, Vizslas, and Golden Retrievers,” Giaritelli wrote. “It also uses two types of pointy-ear, or working breed, dogs: the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.”

Christopher Shelton, branch manager of the San Antonio, TX, canine training center, told Giaritelli that the TSA wouldn’t rule out a pointy-eared pup just because of his or her ears. The dog’s health, willingness and ability to sniff out security risks and its disposition still matter more. Training these dogs costs between $26,000 and $42,000, so the agency can’t be too picky about looks.

I remember coming into Logan Airport in Boston many years ago from an overseas trip. I was surprised to see beagles running around the area where we picked up our luggage. Although it seemed a little odd, it made perfect sense–beagles have very good noses. The top three breeds considered to have the best sense of smell are the bloodhounds, the basset hounds, and the beagles. It’s just that the look of the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois seems much more appropriate for a dog involved in law enforcement.

At any rate, I wish the TSA luck with their new program. It’s nice to see some of the working breeds get the recognition they deserve.

Disarming A Stuffed Monkey To Make Our Airplanes Safe

Sometimes you just wonder at the level of common sense being exhibited by some people. There was an incident that I personally witnessed last week in a government office where a person’s pocket knife was declared a weapon and he was asked to leave the office. It was a small pocket knife. He made no effort to conceal it–it was clipped onto his pocket. I seem to be living in a part of the country where people carry pocket knives, but evidently you can’t take a pocket knife into a government office–even if it’s a public office. Well, a recent TSA incident tops that.

KING5.com in Washington state reported earlier this month that a women who has a small business selling unique sock monkey dolls had a two-inch toy pistol belonging to her “Rooster Monkburn” cowboy sock monkey confiscated by the TSA.

The article reports:

The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.

“I said well go ahead,” said May. “And I said really? You’re kidding me right, and she said no it looks like a gun.”

“She took my monkey’s gun,” said May, who has retained her sense of humor.

“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” she said. “I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”

In the end, the agent did not call police and May did get her other sewing supplies back.

On Monday, the TSA issued a statement, saying “TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation’s transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public. Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.”

I don’t want to encourage the TSA agent, but I can think of things in an ordinary sewing kit that would be more dangerous than a two-inch toy pistol. I doesn’t say a lot about the level of common sense of the TSA that the agent thought it necessary to confiscate a two-inch plastic toy.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tales From The TSA

Steven Hayward posted a story at Power Line yesterday about his recent visit to Poalillo Vineyards and Winery.  During his visit to the winery, he noticed that in the tasting room there was a bin of mismatched corkscrews.  The corkscrews were for sale, marked as “reclaimed wine openers.”  When Mr. Hayward asked where they were reclaimed from, he was told that they had been confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Mr. Hayward concludes:

I suggest one simple filter: any Islamic person carrying a wine corkscrew probably is a terrorist, so go ahead and confiscate theirs.  But that would be profiling.

Common sense and government just don’t seem to have anything in common. On a recent visit out of state, I met another senior citizen who did not understand why the TSA had taken away her hairspray that had been packed in her carry-on luggage. She was a sweet, little old gray-haired lady who was no threat to anyone. We need someone in charge who will exercise common sense at the TSA.