Rutherford Seeks Clarity on Illegal Immigrants Coming to Jacksonville

October 28, 2021
Press Release
Joined by colleagues in requesting answers from Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Becerra

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04) led a letter with 51 congressional colleagues to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. Rutherford is seeking answers regarding chartered flights of illegal immigrants landing in Jacksonville, Florida.

The full text of the letter is below:

“Dear Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Becerra,

We are deeply concerned by reports of flights with illegal immigrants being flown from the southwest border to communities across the country with no notification. The lack of transparency from the Biden Administration is unacceptable.

Since January, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has encountered 1.5 million migrants at our southwest border. This humanitarian and national security crisis has stretched our immigration system to a breaking point. Border Patrol agents work day and night to process large groups of illegal immigrants crossing our border, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has taken in over 13,000 unaccompanied minors (UAC) every month for the last seven months.

In this year alone, over 640,000 people have been processed under Title 8 and are awaiting immigration proceedings in the United States, which could take years. As people are relocated from the border to the interior of the country while they await proceedings, the Administration must be transparent with state and local agencies about how many illegal immigrants are being moved into their communities.

We are closely following recent news reports that the Biden Administration is chartering flights to transport illegal immigrants to New York and Jacksonville, Florida. However, this administration has not confirmed how many of these flights have taken place, who is on these flights, and where they are going. In an effort to better understand the current situation, we ask for your prompt reply to the below questions:

· What agencies are moving illegal immigrants from the border to the interior of the country?

· What populations are being moved by the federal government (UAC, families, single adults)?

· When did these flights begin?

· Are these flights ongoing?

· How many flights have occurred since January?

· How many illegal immigrants have been transported on these flights?

· Where are these flights originating and where are they going?

· Where are individuals on these flights being relocated to?

If the federal government is going to move groups of people into communities where they will use local resources, such as schools, transportation, and social services, it is vital that local governments and law enforcement be aware of these populations. For these reasons, we ask for a quick response to these questions.”

 

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