NOVEMBER 08, 2007
In yet another example of how national security is regularly compromised at airports, 23 illegal immigrants have been arrested for using fake security badges to work in critical areas at one of the country’s busiest airports.
The illegal immigrants used false or stolen Social Security numbers to obtain their security badges to work at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and they regularly entered the massive facility’s highly restricted security areas, including the tarmac.
The 21 Mexicans and two Guatemalans obtained their security badges from Chicago’s Department of Aviation as employees of a company that contracts work for several carriers, including United Airlines, KLM and Qantas.
It turns out that 110 out of 134 security badges issued to the company, Ideal Staffing, didn’t match the individuals who used them. The breach was eventually discovered earlier this year by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspector though officials aren’t certain how long illegal aliens have accessed the restricted areas.
Serious security lapses are on the rise at airports nationwide and the federal agency in charge of protecting the country’s transportation system (Transportation Security Administration) has been under fire since last year.
Recent breaches include six illegal immigrants with fake security badges caught in restricted areas at Atlanta International Airport, vendors who routinely enter delicate airport areas across the country with no screening and a highly publicized four-hour period each night when guards nap and metal detectors get turned off a Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.
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