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Roskam Introduces Bill to Close Security Gaps at Our Nation's Airports

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Original Cosponsor of Bill to Prohibit Non-Citizens from Secure Airport Areas

Washington, Nov 14 - Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) today joined with Rep. Mark Kirk and Rep. Judy Biggert in introducing legislation to limit access to high security areas of our nation's airports to U.S. citizens only.

"The only way to ensure the safety of the traveling public is to have an accurate account of the identities of those working in the secure areas of our airports," said Roskam. "The Department of Homeland Security must directly check all airport personnel that have access to baggage, the tarmac, airplanes or other sensitive areas of the airport to make certain that those employees are U.S. citizens and don't pose any security risk."

The legislation introduced today will authorize any Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport Federal Security Director to designate airport areas critical to transportation security as a "federal security zone." Once an area at an airport is declared a federal security zone, only the airport's Federal Security Director can issue security badges to these zones.

This provision is of particular importance to O'Hare, which is in Roskam's district, due to last week's reports of illegal immigrants gaining access to secure areas of the airport using fake identification provided through a contract staffing agency.

The bill will also ensure that only U.S. nationals who have been cleared by the E-Verify system can be granted security access badges to the designated federal security zones.

"Federal Security Directors need every tool available to ensure potential terrorists cannot access our airports," said Roskam.

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