United States Government Imposes New Identification Requirement on Migrants

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New changes in domestic flight boarding policy have begun to be implemented by the US government, aiming to verify the identity of passengers.

The recent modifications establish a new identification procedure for migrants who do not have a passport, so they must undergo facial recognition technology before taking flights.

This technique enables the processing of a person’s facial biometric data, in a real-time verification and authentication process, a requirement imposed due to a change that recently caused confusion among a group of Texas activists and immigrants.

Regarding this, there are no specific details about the exact date of the new modus operandi’s operation. However, digital media outlets have echoed that last Tuesday, March 12, several migrants leaving southern Texas thought they were being rejected.

Many of them used the government’s online appointment system for their immigration case processing. Concerning this, migrant advocates expressed concern for those who had crossed the border illegally between Mexico and the United States and were processed by Border Patrol agents and released while their immigration cases are investigated.

This new procedure has taken groups working with migrants by surprise, as it is unknown how many people may be affected since many have foreign passports.

Regarding this, digital press outlets report that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mentioned that passengers intending to board a flight and do not have an appropriate photo will be mandatorily subjected to this facial recognition procedure, with the aim of verifying identities in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) files, and if it is not possible to match, they will not be able to enter the airport areas and consequently will be denied boarding.

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There is news of a group of migrants who were forced to return to a shelter in McAllen, Texas, on Tuesday after being rejected at the airport. This news is extremely distressing for those undergoing this procedure due to the uncertainty of the events.

For their part, migrant advocates are trying to implement research strategies to obtain accurate information about these new TSA procedures.

Although it is known that these irregular transit individuals largely depend on the airlines transporting them for the execution of their immigration procedures, it is also known that this situation places migrants at a higher level of vulnerability and confusion.

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Haymé Santoya Rodríguez

Licenciada en Historia del Arte por la Universidad de Oriente. Investigadora en Casa de la Nacionalidad Cubana. Se especializa en estudios sobre artes visuales y cine cubano. Ha realizado trabajos de curaduría de arte así como conferencias, presentaciones de libros, conversatorios y disertaciones sobre su especialización. Se ha vinculado al periodismo digital desde el 2018.