Gee didn’t stuff like this get us in trouble almost ten years ago? Before they hijacked the flights on 9/11 and flew their airplanes into the pentagon and the twin towers, the al Qaeda terrorists who were in the country illegally, had to learn how to fly. So they went to some of the best flight schools here in the United States. After the horrible attacks we were told that there would be strict security controls on who can take flight lessons. At least that we were told. Last week the owner of a flight school in Massachusetts plus more than two dozen of his students were arrested for being in the country illegally. Compounding the problem the students claim their immigration status was never checked per the new security controls.
“I was surprised this morning when I heard. We have been and will continue to cooperate with federal officials,” airport owner Don McPherson said
Those arrested at the school about 30 miles west of Boston are Brazilian and have no known terrorist ties. “I was surprised by the way it happened. It shouldn’t happen like that,” said Ricardo Pereira, who works part time for the flight school. Pereira said pilots have some of the best jobs in his country and those who were at the school were there to learn. “Have you ever heard of a Brazilian terrorist? I am not saying there won’t be one or two, but that is not Brazilian stuff,” he said.
That’s not really the point, if these folks go to flight school without being checked, who else is slipping through?
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“TSA is responsible for checking foreign nationals who apply for flight training in the United States or with FAA-certified flight training providers anywhere in the world. TSA performs a thorough background check on each applicant at the time of application to include terrorism and other watch list matching, a criminal history check and checks for available disqualifying immigration information,” TSA said in a statement.
Three of those Brazilian nationals who were arrested while studying to be pilots at a Stow flight school said they were cleared by the federal Transportation Security Administration for flight training. The men, who agreed to talk to News 5 in Boston under a condition of anonymity (see video below), said they came to the United States legally but now have expired visas. They said the TSA never asked them about their immigration status. “I did an application for the TSA. They looked at my background and there’s nothing criminal,” said one.
With that kind of fine oversight President Obama’s Homeland Security department will get us all killed.