Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has introduced legislation to stop upgrades of security scanners used by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airports because those upgrades are too trans-friendly.
The bill, which she is calling the “Securing Americans from Transportation Insanity Act” or SATIA, would require the TSA to continue using Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) that is “sex-based” instead of more advanced machinery that does not need to know the gender of the person being scanned into order to detect possible threats.
Related: TSA allegedly wanted a trans girl to expose her genitals before boarding her flight
The older technology requires a TSA worker to enter in a gender for the passenger being scanned (based on what the person looks like) in order to work, leading to false positives for transgender people. The machines can effectively out some transgender people and lead to humiliating interactions at the airport.
“Generally, the officers make the decision in seconds, based on a person’s appearance,” a ProPublica report on the technology said.
The Biden administration announced the new tech earlier this year.
“By replacing the current, gender-based AIT system, this new, more accurate technology will also advance civil rights and improve the customer experience of travelers who previously have been required to undergo additional screening due to alarms in sensitive areas,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. “TSA will begin deploying this new technology in airports throughout the country later this year.”
In the press release accompanying her new bill, Boebert doesn’t cite any evidence that the newer technology is any less safe than the older technology. Instead, she accuses “the Biden regime” of pursuing “a woke crusade to remake America in its own image.”
“Decreasing pat-downs and identity validation measures for people identifying as transgender might validate delusional leftists, but it does nothing for passenger safety,” she said, apparently not understanding that the reduced pat-downs would be a result of more accurate scanning technology. She called the new technology “special treatment” for trans and non-binary people, even though the machines would be for all passengers.
Moreover, the SATIA would roll back other Biden administration protections for transgender people, including an update to TSA PreCheck program to include an X gender marker, promoting the X gender markers with airlines even though the State Department is issuing passports with X gender markers, and requiring Customs and Border Protection to use migrants’ pronouns and names.
“They are practically inviting terrorists to take advantage of our weak and woke security systems,” Boebert said in her press release, which includes the subheading “DON’T WOKE THE TSA.”
“The TSA literally has one job – and this isn’t it.”
She also called the Transgender Day of Visibility “a made-up transgender holiday” in her press release instead of showing how any of the Biden administration policies would make airport security weaker.
Five percent of civil rights complaints filed against the TSA from 2016 to 2019 were related to the screening of transgender people and another 15% were related to “sex/gender/gender identity.”
“Transgender people have complained of profiling and other bad experiences of traveling while trans since TSA’s inception and have protested its invasive body scanners since they were first introduced in 2010,” said Harper Jean Tobin of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
A trans woman named Terra Fox described her experience in 2018, when a body scanner detected a threat on her because the TSA worker told the machine to scan her as female. While TSA guidelines require passengers to be patted down by someone of the same gender, the nearest female TSA officer refused to do it after Fox said that she’s transgender.
So two male officers pulled her to a private room and made her pull down her leggings to show them her genitalia. While she was eventually cleared, the screening took so long that she missed her flight.
“Every time I travel, I have to cry and feel humiliated,” she said.
A trans man interviewed by ProPublica said that he didn’t travel for five years after his breasts set off a false positive in the body scanner. He was taken to a private room by two male officers and told to remove his chest binder and the male officers touched his breasts.
“I was very nervous,” he said. “I did not feel safe.”
Boebert’s bill is unlikely to pass the Democratic House and the divided Senate or be signed by President Joe Biden.