Gaetz Calls for Delta CEO to Be Transparent Following Viral Posts on Unauthorized Immigrants

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has expressed concerns about national security, questioning Delta Air Lines’ involvement in transporting unauthorized immigrants from the U.S. southern border into the country’s interior without thorough vetting.

In a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastion, Gaetz emphasized the need for transparency regarding the arrangements among the airline, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) facilitating transportation.

“It has recently come to my attention that Delta Air Lines is transporting non-resident aliens from the southern border of the United States into the interior of the country,” Mr. Gaetz wrote. “The United States Congress has an interest in understanding pursuant to which arrangements with federal agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) non-resident aliens are able to book and travel on Delta Air Lines flights.”

Prompted by viral social media claims, Mr. Gaetz highlighted national security concerns related to NGOs using taxpayer funds to purchase flights for undocumented immigrants without proper vetting and identification.

Sen. Ted Cruz also raised these concerns with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, seeking information on the screening procedures for immigrants aided by the CBP One app.

In his letter to Delta’s CEO, Gaetz pointed out that certain NGOs receiving federal grants might be using government funds to buy flights for non-resident aliens on Delta. The congressman, echoing Cruz, expressed alarm at taxpayers potentially funding flights for insufficiently vetted illegal immigrants from the U.S. southern border.

“Therefore, I am concerned the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be allowing nonresident aliens to board flights, including those operated by Delta Air Lines, with an alternate form of identification that meets a weaker standard than that used to verify the identities of American citizens when they fly,” he added.

Mr. Gaetz sought answers from Ms. Bastion to the following questions:

  • How many nonresident aliens has Delta Ait Lines transported on behalf of governmental or nongovernmental organizations since January 20, 2021?
  • How do NGOs purchase or reimburse your airlines for the tickets of non-resident aliens?
  • Are you now receiving, or have you ever received, any incentive to reimbursement, including money, credit, or other benefits from the federal government, in exchange for the transport of nonresident aliens?
  • Has the TSA notified you of what forms of identification are acceptable for nonresident aliens to clear airport security and board your flights? If so, what are they?

The matter initially surfaced on December 19 in a viral post on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared by conservative commentator Ashley St. Clair.

“My Delta flight from Phoenix appears to be flying migrants who crossed the border and are being shipped to New York,” Ms. St. Clair wrote in a post that included a video of herself at the boarding gate.

Ms. St. Clair said that when she queried the matter with “a Delta representative,” he responded by saying, “What does it matter, they’re humans too.”

The situation raised questions for the commentator, who wrote: “What is happening???? Are taxpayer dollars paying for this????”

After Ms. St. Clair’s post, additional reporters on X have shared experiences of boarding flights containing released illegal immigrants reportedly by CBP. On December 22, Fox News reporter Bill Melugin posted a photo on X showing illegal immigrants in security lines at the Tucson, Arizona airport, mentioning that the terminal was filled with individuals released into the U.S. with DHS paperwork.

On the same day, Tenet Media reporter Taylor Hansen, flying out of Laredo, Texas, claimed that nearly every person in the airport was an illegal migrant, stating that an “@AmericanAir rep” informed him that more illegal migrants fly out of that airport daily than Americans.

In a follow-up post on December 22, Ms. St. Clair revealed possessing legitimate major airline boarding passes for migrants with the name printed as “NO NAME GIVEN,” without specifying the airline.

The Epoch Times examined a photo of a boarding pass from another major airline with “NO NAME GIVEN,” dated April and with identifying information redacted, indicating an ongoing issue only recently brought to light.