The Biden administration quietly began transferring illegal migrants from the southern border to the state of Tennessee within the last week. This move was so quiet, in fact, that the state’s top elected officials didn’t know anything about it until it was done. Now Senator Marsha Blackburn is joined by the junior senator from Tennessee, Senator Bill Hagerty, and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann in demanding some answers as to what exactly is going on.
The southern border is a mess thanks to the incompetence of Team Biden and their determination to undo every successful policy implemented by the previous administration to handle illegal immigration. The problem with that plan is that the Trump administration’s policies worked and Fumblin’ Joe can’t admit that, given his investment in trashing Trump as xenophobic and racist. Strongly worded letters have been sent to the appropriate people, including to the secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.
Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, along with U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Ooltewah, issued a letter to the secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security saying the lawmakers are “deeply troubled by the lack of transparency and accountability regarding the conditions that HHS is subjecting the children to.
“There are media reports that, within the last week, at least four planes carrying [unaccompanied children] landed at Wilson Air Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before swiftly boarding the children onto buses and transporting them to multiple cities across the southeastern United States for apparent resettlement, with zero transparency regarding what was happening,” the letter reads.
There is an alleged video of migrant children moving through Chattanooga’s airport, from where they were reported to be taken by bus to areas in the Southeast. This was being reported by WRCB-TV Channel 3 on Wednesday. By Thursday, Senator Blackburn was hitting the airwaves demanding some answers. She and the others also want briefings from both HHS and Homeland Security.
“The citizens of Tennessee are entitled to more information,” the letter reads. “After all, their schools, hospitals and law enforcement agencies will bear the burden of this reported resettlement, which is the product of an ongoing border crisis that is making every town a border town.”
This is the same complaint that other localities voice when a flood of illegal migrants are dumped into their towns. Local law enforcement and public officials are faced with a lack of resources to handle the situation. The towns quickly run out of money and personnel to manage the overload. One church was criticized in April for helping with unaccompanied minors and says the bills are paid for their care by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
In April, Redemption to the Nations Church drew criticism from some area residents for leasing an unused building to an organization with a federal contract to temporarily house unaccompanied migrant children. The children, between the ages of 12 and 17, receive education on site and are not placed in Hamilton County Schools. According to federal policy from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, unaccompanied migrant children do not attend local schools.
“ORR pays for and provides all services for the children while they are in care at a shelter,” the office’s website says. “This includes food, clothing, education, medical screening and any needed medical care to the children.”
Guided by federal policy, the ORR moves children to federally funded and state-licensed facilities, such as the one in Chattanooga, for care until they can be placed with sponsors and wait for their court hearings.
ORR traditionally handles refugees asking for asylum in the United States but during the Biden border crisis, the sheer number of migrants has caused the normal system to collapse. Other agencies have to work together to find solutions, like where to house the migrants not being turned away at the border, such as unaccompanied minors. Charities are helping take up the slack, too, including church groups that provide shelter and volunteers. Adult migrants coming to the border during this crisis won’t qualify for asylum if the Biden administration follows current immigration laws.
Governor Bill Lee rejected a request from the Biden administration weeks ago, he tweeted, to house unaccompanied minors.
When we demanded answers, they cut off transparency & emboldened one of the worst human trafficking crises we’ve seen at our border in the last 20 years. I commend @SenatorHagerty & @MarshaBlackburn for calling this out – Tennesseans deserve to know who is coming into our state.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) May 20, 2021
Joe Biden promised the most transparent administration ever, which, at the time was laughable. Since then, he has proven cynics to be correct in doubting his ability to conduct his administration in a transparent way. During the Biden border crisis, this fallacy has been proven time and time again. Secret flights in and out of Tennessee now are just the latest example of Biden’s failures.
In 2019, Lee allowed refugees (migrants) to be transferred to Tennessee but at the time he said the government had to make reforms in immigration laws. States don’t control immigration, the federal government does. Now, with the situation so much worse than it ever was during the Trump administration, who can blame Governor Lee for saying enough is enough?
If these reports of flights moving unaccompanied minors around the Southeast prove to be true, Biden has some explaining to do.
A source with direct knowledge of the operation revealed somewhere up to 50 minors are transported at a time – some to reunite with family members in other states and others to be relocated to group homes.
The individual revealed that while the operation started in Dallas, it moved to small airports recently to avoid attention.
And, as we so often ask, where’s Kamala?