Illegal Immigrant Pilots in Stow
Does anyone remember September 11th? When foreign nationals came to the US to train as pilots and then hijacked jets and flew them into buildings. As a result of that tragedy, our country, and countries around the world, dramatically changed its aviation security regulations. In the US, the Transportation Security Administration was formed. Most people know of the TSA because when boarding commercial flights, passengers now must be subject to strict security. Part of that security is ensuring that all foreign flight students be checked against terrorism, criminal and immigration databases.
The Boston Globe reported today, that the owner of the TJ Aviation Flight Academy at Minute Man Air Field in Stow, MA, Thiago DeJesus, is a Brazilian immigrant who was charged in July with being in the United States illegally. Yet, he was still giving flying lessons to, you guessed it, illegal immigrants. In total, there have been 34 arrests made beginning in July and ending last week. What happened to those TSA databases?
While there has been no connection made to possible terrorist activities, it still seems ludicrous that all the arrested immigrants are free pending deportation hearing in federal immigration court. Did anyone think it may be possible they will perhaps skip their deportation hearings? Not likely, you say? The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has estimated that about 30 percent of illegal aliens who are ordered to appear for immigration proceedings fail to show up. Of those who do appear, about 85 percent become fugitives if a judge orders them to be deported.
Image: Flight approach to Minute Man Airfield in Stow, MA from July 2007.