In Miami, a major embarrassment for President Obama's Homeland Security Administration is being revealed. An illegal immigrant from Guyana is in jail -- accused of committing forgery and identify theft to land a flight attendant job with American Eagle, American Airlines' commuter carrier.
After 9/11, the airline industry and Federal government supposedly implemented extra-rigorous security checks to keep airline passengers safe. Yet Jophan Porter, 38, slipped past all of them.
As The Miami Herald reports:
Jophan Porter, 38, whose last known address was a basement apartment in the Bronx, N.Y., was hired earlier this year by American Eagle, a sister carrier of American Airlines, as a flight attendant, even though he applied for the job as Anthony Frair, a 40-year-old Bronx resident who swears he never met or heard of Porter.
The deception came to light several days ago when Frair, a man with a criminal rap sheet in Florida, attempted to apply for food stamps in New York. He was rejected because records showed he was gainfully employed by the airline.
Porter, an immigrant from Guyana who was based out of Miami International Airport, was arrested on Friday when he returned to MIA from a personal trip to London. Charges include six counts of possessing false government IDs, three counts of forgery and three counts of possessing stolen driver's licenses -- all three from Florida and each one in Frair's name.
Porter was being detained on an immigration hold, Ivan Ortiz-Delgado, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Saturday.
The agency intends to deport him once his legal case plays out, Ortiz-Delgado added.
Obviously, Porter made a big mistake in stealing Frair's identify because of Frair's unsavory criminal history -- one that somehow got past American Eagle's employee screening and whatever Homeland Security checks that were in place. As the Miami Herald noted: "Frair was arrested four times in Largo, in Pinellas County, between January and October 2008 on charges of criminal mischief, domestic battery, witness tampering and battery with a deadly weapon."
A SNAFU indeed. Meanwhile, hardly a week goes by that another story doesn't go viral about overzealous TSA agents harassing innocent airline passengers - passengers who, incredibly, may have flight attendants serving them who are illegal immigrants and have criminal histories.
Republicans are sure to have lots of fun with this one, as they raise embarrassing questions about who is in charge at Homeland Security and Immigration and Naturalization.