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Politics and Government

Schumer calls for more airline passport checks

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) during his visit to Syracuse Monday.

As the search continues for a missing Malaysian Airlines plane, Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing legislation that would close what he calls a "major gap" in airline security, exposed because of the incident.   
Schumer notes that two passengers on the plane got on board using stolen passports, apparently very easily. And he says most countries don’t require airlines to check the Interpol database to see if passports are stolen.

“Only three countries check them, the U.S., Britain, or the United Arab Emirates.  So we want the other countries to check them.  And we don’t want them to fly into this country until they have system to check them,” said Schumer during a visit to Syracuse Monday.

The senator says he plans to propose legislation to pressure other countries to start double checking passports, through denying tourist and business visas to citizens of countries that don’t check passports.

“What I’ve called for is that every airline that flies Americans, or flies into the United States should have to check with Interpol.  The worldwide law enforcement agency has a list of every stolen passport,” said Schumer.

Schumer says he is surprised more countries don’t double check passports in this post 9/11 era.