Air travel by DREAMers after DACA approval

Matt writes, "I got approved for Deferred Action. I also got my social security number, employment card, and driver's license. I am wondering if I can travel on a plane within the United States with these documents. If yes, how? Do I need a passport? What else do I need?"

What happens at the airport when going through security?   Actually, all you need is a driver's license (this is true for anyone in the United States regardless of immigration status, unless you carry one of those licenses that clearly indicate 'not valid for identification' or similar language, that allows people who are able to drive with it but it cannot be used as an ID).  If you are going to check in at an airline counter, that is all you need to show.  If you check in at home and have no bags to check (in case you do, you will simply show your ID and boarding pass to drop off your bags at a separate counter in the checkin area), just go directly to the security line (which is the same for all passengers, including international travelers) where an officer will check your boarding pass and ID (the United States Transportation Security Administration or TSA accepts a large range of documents as acceptable identification but for anyone with a valid driver's license there is no need for anything else, while the foreigners must present a valid passport).  No one should ask you about your legal status because it is not their business.  However, they are within their rights to ask you all sorts of questions like where you are going, how many days, for what purpose, etc. but chances are that they will not ask anything at all as long as the name on your license is the same as your boarding pass and you do not raise any suspicion because of your unusual behavior. 

Interaction with TSA:   Now make sure that you do not have anything unusual in your carryon items (do not exceed the weight limit, no weapons of any kind, only the allowed amounts of liquids; etc.), so that you do not get stopped for extra screening.  Also make sure that you have nothing in your pockets that can trigger the Xray machine and you will be on your way.  Now to be absolutely sure that you are okay, you can keep your passport and EAD card in your carry-on bag, but unless you get stopped for extra screening and an officer insists on knowing more about you, there will be no need to show it.  The TSA focuses on flight security and immigration status is not their responsibility (actually, the officer who will check your documents is not equipped with any computers or databases; he will merely make a visual inspection of the documents).  Needless to say that if you do have to step aside for additional screening -- something that is not going to happen unless you are transporting guns or drugs in your bags or doing something really stupid -- trust me, the officer checking your boarding pass and ID will take one casual look at your face to make sure that the faces match and you will be waved off.  If you packed smartly and take off all metal objects from your body, the machine will probably clear you as well, and you will be on your way without a hitch.  In fact I expect that it will be so uneventful that you would even wonder why you bothered to even ask someone.

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