I'm an Italian citizen. I came to the USA on a tourist visa 2 years ago but overstayed. I only have my Italian passport with me. Should I be fine flying within the US with no worries? Is anybody going to ask me for my immigration status? I'm very scared.

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    "I'm very scared." If you can't do the time, don't do the crime...
    – user67108
    Aug 10, 2018 at 11:56
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    You should be more concerned with either fixing your status or leaving the US. Eventually you are going to get caught. If you don't get caught right away, living in fear is a terrible thing. Get this handled. Consult a qualified immigration attorney. Aug 10, 2018 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


For a domestic flight in the US, there are no routine immigration checks during checkin or arrival. The airline staff are not qualified to check your immigration status, they just need to see your passport for identification. Similarly, the TSA will check your passport for identification purposes.

There was an incident in 2017 where immigration officers checked the identification of every passenger coming off the flight. In this case, they were looking for somebody specific and had reason to believe they were on that flight (however, they were not).

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    ICE has been checking immigration documents including at Greyhound buses and stations. The probability she gets stopped is very low however it is significantly amplified at airports and transit centers. Aug 10, 2018 at 8:26
  • @TheZealot you are confusing ICE with US Border Patrol. The latter operates in bus and train stations, as well as a small number of airports, and on buses and trains, within 100 miles of the border. They do not operate in New York City or as far as I know in Las Vegas, although they could. Taking a bus or train would still be far riskier than flying.
    – phoog
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:11
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    @phoog Taking a train to Las Vegas is no longer possible, why would it be riskier than flying?
    – gerrit
    Aug 10, 2018 at 9:51
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    @TheZealot ICE only arrests people in connection with specific investigations. They do not operate checkpoints as does Border Patrol. Under Martinez Fuerte these checkpoints are allowed within 100 miles of the border, which excludes Las Vegas, but they are not operated in NYC. It's possible to get caught up in an ICE action but exceedingly unlikely (twice in NY, separated by 13 years).
    – phoog
    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:32
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    @gerrit it's possible to take a train most of the way from New York to Las Vegas and go the rest of the way by bus. It's possible to go by bus. The specific mode of ground transportation is irrelevant to this question; the point is that using ground transportation makes it very likely that one would encounter a border patrol checkpoint in the southwest or near the Canadian border unless one is careful to stay more than 100 miles from the border. The chance of encountering immigration enforcement in a New York City airport or the Las Vegas airport is far smaller.
    – phoog
    Aug 10, 2018 at 12:34

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