Blumenthal signs onto bill to prevent use of stolen passports

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) signed onto a bill Monday that aims to stop travelers from using stolen passports.

Blumenthal’s decision to co-sponsor Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) Transnational Regulation of Identity of Passports (TRIP) Act comes amid reports that two passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had used stolen passports to board the flight.

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“We don't know whether the two travelers on the missing Malaysian jet were the cause of its disappearance, but certainly they should have been stopped at the gate,” Blumenthal said Monday. “This simple, straightforward, system has the capacity to save lives and spare millions from worry.”

The TRIP Act would require all 190-member countries of Interpol to use the Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (STLD) Database or else they’ll lose access to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

“Any country refusing to use Interpol's database of stolen or lost identity documents is inexcusably endangering our citizens as well as their own,” Blumenthal said. “This law send a message to all countries: use the data base, or your citizens will be denied temporary visas to visit here. That's the kind of incentive sure to get them to screen travelers using stolen paper.”

It’s unclear if the two passengers with stolen passports were involved in the disappearance of the jetliner, which has been missing for more than 10 days. Investigators have said the plane flew more than 1,000 miles off course toward the Indian Ocean.