Can Illegal Immigrants Fly Domestically with Passport in 2023?

With the recent changes in immigration laws, there have been many debates on whether illegal immigrants can travel domestically with passports in the year 2023. While there have been some changes to immigration laws, it is important to understand the specifics before forming an argument or opinion. In this article, we will explore the topic of whether illegal immigrants can fly domestically with a passport in 2023.

Key Takeaways

  • Illegal immigrants cannot travel internationally or fly with a passport.
  • The DHS issued REAL ID is mandatory by May 3, 2023, and illegal immigrants will not be able to obtain it.
  • TSA accepts other identification documents as acceptable forms of identification for domestic travel, but those documents do not include passports.
  • Some states are making it possible for illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Understanding REAL ID

The REAL ID Act was enacted in 2005 post-9/11 to enhance security standards for IDs by erecting standards for issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards. It has been modified many times since then, and one of the changes in today’s context pertains to the expiration date of state-issued IDs.

Starting May 3, 2023, REAL ID-compliant IDs will be needed to go through TSA checkpoints at the airport, which will affect residents from all states. Illegal immigrants are still ineligible to acquire this ID, and most states require an SSN to obtain a driver’s license or state identification card, which they do not possess.

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Alternative Forms of ID Accepted by TSA

While passports remain off-limits as appropriate forms of ID for domestic travel for undocumented residents, there are alternative forms of identity that TSA accepts for domestic travel. These include:

  • Permanent resident card (Green Card)
  • Employment authorization document/card (EAD)
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Transportation worker identification credential (TWIC)
  • Border crossing card
  • Enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL)

While some of these are exclusive to citizens, green card holders, and foreign workers allowed to work in the US, some of these documents are attainable by undocumented individuals. In certain cases, they can offer more protection and may serve as travel documents as well.

The TSA official website has more information about approved forms of identification:

State Laws Allowing Illegals to Obtain Driver’s Licenses

Every state has different laws about applying for driver’s licenses or identification cards, whether or not the resident is legally in the US. Several states now allow undocumented people to obtain driver’s licenses or identification cards as long as they fulfill the conditions.

Currently, at least 15 states and Washington, DC, allow undocumented residents to apply for driver’s licenses or identification cards, including Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

In conclusion, while illegal immigrants cannot fly domestically with a passport, there are other forms of valid identification they can possess, including driver’s licenses and identification cards. They are still ineligible to apply for REAL ID-compliant IDs, which will be required by TSA checkpoints beginning May 3, 2023.

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Q: Can I use my passport for domestic travel within the United States if I’m an illegal immigrant?

No, you cannot use your passport for domestic travel in the United States if you’re an illegal immigrant.

Q: What IDs can illegal immigrants use to fly domestically?

Illegal immigrants can use alternative forms of ID for domestically, including a Permanent resident card (Green Card), Employment authorization document/card (EAD), HSPD-12 PIV card, Transportation worker identification credential (TWIC), Border crossing card, and Enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL).

Q: Can undocumented people obtain REAL ID-compliant IDs?

No, undocumented individuals cannot apply for REAL ID-compliant IDs, which will be required by TSA checkpoints starting May 3, 2023.

About the Author

Clifford Thompson

Clifford is a 33-year-old Asian-American travel blogger based in Seattle, Washington. He has a degree in computer science and has traveled to over 30 countries across six continents. Clifford is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares his knowledge and insights on the blog. His articles are informative and engaging, providing readers with practical advice and recommendations for international travel.

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