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    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Airline passengers getting bumped as asylum-seekers vie for standby seats

    Airline passengers getting bumped as asylum-seekers vie for standby seats



    by: Sandra Sanchez
    Posted: Feb 20, 2024 / 07:38 PM CST
    Updated: Feb 20, 2024 / 09:50 PM CST





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    McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — It’s not even 4 a.m. and the line to get through security at McAllen International Airport is backing up on Tuesday morning.

    Among the travelers, asylum-seeking migrants hoping to get on flights by purchasing standby tickets.

    Ahead of the Transportation Security Administration’s checkpoint, Border Patrol agents screen the migrants by taking their photos and checking documents to ensure that none is trying to board flights illegally.

    Border Patrol agents tell Border Report that the Department of Homeland Security has legally released them and issued them travel documents, and many are coming to the airport, especially in the pre-dawn hours.

    At the gates, there are far more people waiting to fly than available seats.







    U.S. Border Patrol agents screen migrants and review DHS-issued paperwork on Feb. 20, 2024, at McAllen International Airport before allowing them to the TSA checkpoint.

    (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)


    There is so much demand for seats that airlines now are advising passengers to arrive at this relatively small airport at least two hours in advance of their flight’s departure.

    American Airlines is urging passengers to arrive two hours early for U.S. flights and three hours ahead of international flights.

    United Airlines, the No. 2 carrier in McAllen, is urging passengers to arrive 45 minutes ahead of departures if they have bags to check.

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    An American Airlines spokesperson told Border Report that the airline does not track the number of asylum-seekers who buy tickets, nor does it ask passengers why they are traveling.

    But data from McAllen International Airport shows that in 2023, there were 15% more people who left the airport than arrived — 518,253 passengers departures and 445,993 arrivals.

    Valley International Airport, about 40 miles away in Harlingen, reports that about 11% more people took off than landed in Fiscal Year 2023.

    Valley International Airport Director Marv Esterly told Border Report on Tuesday that he advises passengers to arrive at least an hour before their departure times.

    The airport is inland and farther away from the border than the McAllen airport and Brownsville-South Padre International Airport, where asylum-seekers also purchase flights.

    Drop in border encounters, though likely temporary, signals new pattern

    Joel Cavazos, 43, is a music distributor executive who lives in Los Angeles and the Rio Grande Valley.





    Joel Cavazos and his daughter, Raza, were trying to fly to Los Angeles on Feb. 16 when he was bumped by American Airlines at McAllen International Airport.

    (Sandra …Read More


    On Friday, he was trying to fly to L.A. with his partner and their 6-month-old daughter, Raza, when he was bumped from an American Airlines flight at McAllen International Airport.

    He ended up missing an important business meeting and said he wasn’t aware, nor told by the airlines, that he should have been at the airport hours before the flight.

    He flies frequently — at least twice a month — and said he wasn’t able to check in via the airline’s mobile app.

    He says he got to the airport an hour ahead of the flight’s departure, but by the time he got through the TSA checkpoint — with 30 minutes until the flight — he was told by a gate agent that he’d been bumped.

    “No. They weren’t polite at all. The initial response was, ‘You missed your flight. We gave your ticket to someone else.’ If you’re not here in time, if you don’t check in within 45 minutes, you lose your flight,'” he told Border Report. “(The American Airlines employee) said, ‘We gave your seat.’ She said we don’t have anymore. We gave it to someone else that was on standby.”

    Behind him were packed bags and a baby carrier for Raza. Most of her formula and toiletries had already been shipped to L.A., as he says he paid about $200 in luggage fees and the airline would not take the bags off the flight. His partner was not bumped from the flight but decided not to travel alone with the baby.

    “I got very frustrated and I started to make a fuss and a stink,” he said.






    A Border Patrol agent photographs 27-year-old Jeffrey, of Haiti, and reviews his DHS paperwork as he plans to board a flight on Feb. 20, 2024, at McAllen International Airport. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report)

    “As a resident of the Rio Grande Valley, there’s been many times that we show up 10 to 15 minutes before the flight. There’s usually no one at our airport. You can kind of skim through security as long as you just have your carry-on. You know, the trick is always to not have any checked luggage. As long as you have your carry-on, you can pretty much make it has never been a problem,” Cavazos said.

    But in the past few years, he says he has noticed more and more asylum-seekers boarding flights.

    “You can tell who’s a migrant and who’s not. They have paperwork. They have little folders,” he said. “You can tell that they’re not American, per se.”






    An asylum-seeker who did not want to be identified shows a folder with documents issued from DHS with which she went through the McAllen …Read More

    Cavazos says he worries whether migrants are vaccinated for all the diseases that U.S. citizens receive, and he says he fears his daughter being exposed to unknown diseases on a flight.

    A spokesperson for TSA told Border Report that agents do not screen for immigration status, but ensure that every passenger has the proper government-issued identification to fly.

    That can include paperwork issued by DHS to asylum-seekers when they are legally paroled into the United States. It allows them to travel and to remain in the country while their immigration court cases are being reviewed.

    The current immigration case backlog is over 3.3 million, according to Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University.

    Sandra Sanchez can be reached at SSanchez@BorderReport.com.



    https://www.borderreport.com/immigra...standby-seats/




    Last edited by Beezer; 02-21-2024 at 10:32 AM.
    ILLEGAL ALIENS HAVE "BROKEN" OUR IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

    DO NOT REWARD THEM - DEPORT THEM ALL

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