In the 2004 movie “The Terminal,” Tom Hanks played a traveler named Viktor Navorski who lived at JFK Airport in New York for nine months because his visa was not valid to enter the United States and a coup in his home country blocked him from returning home.
Hanks’ role was based on the real-life story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri. Nasseri was deported from his home country of Iran but claimed he had lost the necessary papers to get refugee status in the U.K. while he was in Paris, according to The New York Times. He spent 18 years at Terminal 1 at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris before he died last year.
If you were trying to get in or out of San Diego airport over the Thanksgiving break, you might have encountered a few migrants who are living in the airport as well — at least 100 of them, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.
Last Friday, I went to the San Diego airport, where at least 100 migrants have been sleeping each night before flights. They are among the thousands of migrants who have been processed by CBP and released in San Diego County since mid-Sept. https://t.co/FS5sVXDuau
— Maura Fox (@Maura__Fox) November 25, 2023
In a Monday social media post, San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond indicated the number had climbed past 300.
The San Diego International Airport has become overrun with migrants waiting for flights out of the area — with more than 300 hunkering down there last week, including some who sat on the floor for days.https://t.co/3ZHkwwcF5f
— Supervisor Jim Desmond (@jim_desmond) November 27, 2023
Among the concerns raised by this influx of migrants is the lack of proper verification and identification procedures.
When migrants arrive at the border seeking asylum, there is no reliable process to confirm their identities, check their criminal backgrounds or ensure they do not pose threats to public safety. Most lack official IDs or documentation that could be cross-referenced.
But unlike Nasseri or his fictional counterpart, Navorski, a little thing like the lack of proper paperwork won’t stop these people from getting into the country. They are just waiting for flights to take them to wherever they want to go, courtesy of the Biden administration.
The San Diego welcome center, run by the nonprofit SBCS, has come under scrutiny for its role in the airport crisis. SBCS buses multiple groups of migrants to the airport daily, working closely with Border Patrol drop-offs, the Union-Tribune reported.
Some volunteers allege migrants are transported to the terminal directly after processing without confirmed travel plans.
“It’s almost becoming a second [migrant welcome] center because there’s so many people there,” Krystle Johnson, a volunteer with a group helping migrants at the airport, told the Union-Tribune.
Airport officials acknowledged there has been a “significant increase in the number of migrants” and said in a statement that they “have and will continue to coordinate with migrant-serving volunteer groups and nonprofit organizations as they help their clients navigate the airport.”
Immigrant Defenders Law Center attorneys said around 20 arrivals per day lack any flight booking. Nearly half scramble to secure tickets before nightfall, but some families reported being stranded for up to four days awaiting purchases from relatives, the Union-Tribune reported.
Additional travelers had prearranged flights but were prematurely delivered to the airport long before departure.
SBCS spokeswoman Mindy Wright denied the claim that migrants are taken to the airport without prior arrangements.
According to the Union-Tribune, since mid-September alone, more than 40,000 migrants have been released into San Diego.
They might not have the proper paperwork, but they won’t stay in the airport too long.
Pretty soon, they’ll be in other American states and cities among the other millions of unverifiable migrants for whom the Biden administration has opened the floodgates.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.