Miami TSA Worker Warns About Dangers of Shutdown

Miami TSA Worker Warns About Dangers of Shutdown

This article was originally published by NBC 6 on January 22, 2019. 

A local Transportation Security Administration employee says the government shutdown is making the already stressful task of securing airports even more difficult -- and he also believes it can come with grave consequences.

Herbert Garces, who works at Miami International Airport, is hanging up his uniform until there's an end to the shutdown. He last reported to work on Monday because he has major security concerns.

"The system is severely compromised and we can't accomplish our mission," he told NBC 6. "I cannot, on a clear conscience, process the bags and the passengers knowing I could be sending them to their deaths."

Garces detailed his concerns in a letter to TSA and other government officials. He believes staffing issues will lead to errors.

"We are understaffed and workers are overworked. We are understaffed because many workers are quitting and can't afford to be without a paycheck," he said.

A spokesperson with the TSA disputed Garces' claim that security is compromised in a statement to NBC 6.

"Our Federal Security Directors around the country are busy ensuring that security standards are being met, just as they always are," it said in part.

TSA officers are among the 420,000 government employees who have been deemed essential and ordered to work during the shutdown. That group also includes air traffic controllers.

"Personally, I won't be flying, and that would be my recommendation to anybody, domestic or international travel," he said.

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