The New York Post has documented planeloads of underage migrants being flown into New York and Florida in a “clandestine” operation by the Biden administration to resettle the youths.
President Joe Biden’s openness to unaccompanied minors and secrecy toward the American public are two defining features of the ongoing border crisis.
A pair of planes landed at the Westchester County Airport on separate nights last week and, as reporters snapped photos, the passengers were loaded into buses under the watch of local police officers, the Post reported Monday.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 19, 2021
On Wednesday night, the Post saw two buses leave the Westchester airport carrying about 100 passengers, who “appeared to be children and teens, with a small portion appearing to be men in their 20s.”
- The migrants were transported across New York City and to towns in upstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where they were received by relatives and sponsors, per the Post.
- About 2,000 illegal immigrants who have been flown into the airport from Texas’ overwhelmed southern border on 21 flights since August, the Post reported based on interviews and online flight-tracking data.
- Rob Astorino, a Republican candidate for governor and a former Westchester County executive, said smaller migrant flights began arriving at the airport in April, and in August, he recounted seeing at least 50 to 75 migrants deplane at the airport and board a bus.
On Saturday night, the Post spotted a group of 10 to 15 people landing in Jacksonville, Florida, apparently en route to Westchester, and then traveling by bus to a nearby juvenile detention center.
- “If the Biden Administration is so confident that their open-border policy is good for our country, why the secrecy?” a spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in response to the Post’s findings.
- “Washington, D.C., sets immigration policies that do not affect them, and states … are expected to bear the brunt of Biden’s reckless open-borders agenda.”
The White House commented that the flights only carry children and teens, and the Department of Health and Human Services said: “It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they can be swiftly unified with a parent or a vetted sponsor.”
WHAT IT SHOWS
The Post’s investigation captured two widely criticized elements of Biden’s immigration agenda, which has so far seen some 1.5 million illegal immigrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A loophole for minors: As part of his reversal of former President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions, Biden exempted minors from Title 41, which allows migrants to be turned away to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.
- Last July, under Trump, 92% of the illegal immigrants caught at the southern border were expelled via Title 41 and “Remain in Mexico,” which requires migrants to wait outside the U.S. for their court dates; just 8% were released into the U.S.
- This July, with border crossings at a two-decade high, those numbers were 47% expelled and 53% released.
Secrecy: The Biden administration has strictly limited media access to overcrowded immigration facilities and reportedly put a “gag order” on U.S. Customs and Border Protection, citing COVID-19 and privacy concerns.
- In an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday, the Post’s Miranda Devine questioned why the White House was relocating migrants “in the dead of night” and said officials had “stonewalled” her investigation of the matter.
- Earlier this month, Republican members of the House Homeland Security Committee confronted Biden with complaints his administration ignores congressional requests for information about the border crisis.
- “The dire situation along the southwest border is a crisis that has spun out of control,” they wrote in a letter to the president. “We demand transparency from your Administration on behalf of the American people.”