Mayorkas Questioned Over Cuban Officials Touring TSA Facilities

Mayorkas Questioned Over Cuban Officials Touring TSA Facilities

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
May 22, 2024

A delegation of Florida lawmakers have directed a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The lawmakers question Secretary Mayorkas over the Biden Administration's approval of Cuban officials touring "sensitive areas." Since the visit was uncovered, there has been a bipartisan response of disapproval, and lawmakers continue speaking out against the trip.

Florida Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Rick Scott (R), and Florida Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R), Carlos Gimenez (R), and Mario Diaz-Balart (R) sent a letter to both Secretary Mayorkas and David Pekoske, the Administrator for the Transportation Security Administration this week, requesting answers over a recent trip where Cuban officials toured TSA facilities.

The lawmakers, sharing their "profound concern and outrage," noted that "the Cuban regime is designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and has absolutely no reason to be invited to tour sensitive areas or view security protocols of an American airport which sole purpose is to safeguard the millions of travelers that pass through the U.S. commercial aviation system every year."

Citing that this is the second time that Cuban officials have been invited for such a trip, the Florida Republicans called on the Biden Administration officials to provide "a full explanation" over the incident.

Florida Democrats have also weighed in on the concern, sharing their concern over the trip.

On social media, Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson (D) denounced the trip, warning that "The Cuban authoritarian government should have no place in our government. END OF STORY!"

"They should not have been invited to Miami International Airport and as a Transportation committee member, I’ll be reaching out to TSA to find answers as to how this happened."

In the letter, the lawmakers call on the Biden officials to provide answers to the following questions:

  1. Under what statutory authority did TSA or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
    invite members of the Cuban Communist Party to tour sensitive areas of MIA?
  2. What areas of MIA were accessed during their tour?
  3. What U.S. airports have Cuban regime operatives, or representatives of other foreign countries designated by the Department of State as "State Sponsors of Terrorism," toured under your leadership?
  4. What security protocols does TSA have in place to vet foreign visitors on TSA-hosted tours of US airports?
  5. What was the process for authorizing TSA-hosted foreign visitor tours? Did TSA follow this process for this particular incident?
  6. What visas were issued to the Cuban operatives and when were their visas processed?
  7. Who is the current Last Departure Airport (LPD) contact at MIA and when were they informed of the Cuban delegation's tour

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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