» ICE Testifies on Steps Taken to Avoid U.S. Flight Schools Unknowingly Training Terrorists

ICE Testifies on Steps Taken to Avoid U.S. Flight Schools Unknowingly Training Terrorists

Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 30, 2012 – A government investigation revealed that a Boston flight school had been training up to 25 undocumented immigrants, even as security officials testified that steps were being taken to ensure that such situations would not occur in the future.

“In a national embarrassment, DHS investigators found a Boston-based flight school populated mainly with foreign students who were visa overstays or simply here without authorization,” said Dallas immigration attorney Stewart Rabinowitz. “ICE now claims to have identified systemic vulnerabilities and implemented changes. I certainly hope so.”

According to an audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), eight students at the school, TJ Aviation, had come into the country illegally, and the other 17 had entered legally but had overstayed their visas. Three students obtained pilot licenses. The discovery was made when local police pulled the owner of the flight school over for a traffic stop and discovered that the owner himself was an undocumented immigrant.

Officials from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), both agencies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), testified in a hearing before the House Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security.

Although pilots are licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the TSA is responsible for conducting criminal background and immigration status checks. Stephen Lord, a TSA official, testified in the Congressional hearing that the TSA has a program in place, known as the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP), to determine whether foreign flight students pose a security threat. Lord admitted that “weaknesses exist in the vetting process,” including the fact that the TSA does not check whether flight students entered the country illegally.

John Woods, an Assistant Director with ICE, also testified before the committee, saying that “systemic vulnerabilities” had been discovered, and that ICE and TSA “have identified and are discussing” possible solutions. According to Woods, the proposed solutions include having the TSA conduct semiannual reviews of flight students' immigration status.

To learn more, contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney at Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., call 1.972.233.6200 or visit http://www.rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.

Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580
Dallas, Texas 75254
Phone: 972.233.6200

  • Department of State Announces the 2018 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
    On September 16, 2016, the Department of State announced the Diversity Visa (“DV”) Program  for 2018.  The DV program permits citizens from countries, other than those countries from which there were more than 50,000 immigrant in total for the previous 5 years, to register for a random drawing to qualify to obtain lawful permanent resident ...
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection to Issue Waivers to Qualifying Nonimmigrants for 5 Years
    The Admissibility Review Office (ARO) of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it will begin approving nonimmigrant waivers for a five year period, rather than the previous one or two year period. As background, all non-citizens seeking to be admitted to the United States must be admissible – that is, not have engaged ...
  • DHS to Publish Proposed International Entrepreneur Rule
    On August 24, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to publish a proposed rule that would permit DHS to use its discretionary parole authority to aid entrepreneurs of start ups whose presence in the United States would be of significant public benefit.  The public will have 45 days after official publication to ...

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required