Abilene, Texas, has emerged as the hub of a clandestine network that ships illegal immigrants across America, according to a new report.
According to KTAB-TV, agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement bring illegal immigrants to Abilene Regional Airport, where they are flown to destinations across the U.S.
The operation also reportedly involves planes that bring illegal immigrants to the airport. The passengers are then loaded onto buses that depart from the airport to points unknown, the outlet reported.
Abilene Director of Transportation Don Green said the airport has no information about these flights except that they are private charter flights operated by ICE.
Republican Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington said officials have refused to provide even a modicum of information about what is going on.
“We have called everybody, up and down the chain, from the Secretary’s office to the local ICE agents, we hadn’t gotten any answers,” he said.
“We are asking, what’s going on, how many people are being released, where are they going, who is following up, will they have a court date, or their immigration hearing, or are they not even given a notice to appear in court, are they tested for COVID, what is the protocol for notifying local officials, has there been a background check run on these folks,” Arrington continued.
The congressman said that based on his survey of local and regional officials, everyone is in the dark.
“Nobody, and I have called a number of local officials, and not one person has been notified by ICE or Homeland Security about this activity,” Arrington said. “So no, they didn’t notify me, they didn’t notify County Commissioners, County Judges, mayors, nobody.”
In a statement, ICE said it uses the airport on an as-needed basis and that all transportation is safe for both those being transported and the local community.
But Arrington was not satisfied, and fired off a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as acting ICE Director Tae Johnson.
“I am alarmed and extremely concerned by recent reports of illegal immigrants being released from local detention facilities in West Texas and transported to the Abilene community in my District. It is my understanding that illegal immigrants are arriving at bus stations, the Abilene Airport, and other places within our community where they are free to travel anywhere in the United States,” he wrote.
“Under your leadership and as a result of the Biden Administration’s policies, the United States has ceded control of our southern border to narco-terrorist cartels which, in turn, has created an unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis.”
Arrington said ICE wrongly has left Texans unsure of what is happening around them.
“The lack of communication and transparency surrounding this process is entirely unacceptable. Your agency failed to notify myself or any other local officials of these activities, leaving us unable to answer the concerns of our constituents in the communities we represent,” Arrington wrote.
After asking Mayorkas and Johnson to level with the people of the region about what is taking place, he told them that they “have enabled an enormous human and drug trafficking operation, as well as a massive flow of gangs and criminals into our country, making a mockery of our laws, our Constitution, and our sovereignty.”
“While the Biden Administration has shown no concern for the lawlessness and chaos they have created, the people of West Texas want nothing to do with this catastrophe,” he wrote.
“This Administration’s decision to ‘catch and release’ illegal immigrants into communities in the Big Country is a threat to my constituents and entirely unacceptable. I am calling on you and President Biden to immediately end this reckless and irresponsible practice in West Texas and throughout the country. Do your job and secure the border, enforce the law, and protect your fellow citizens,” he wrote, asserting the Biden administration is currently an accomplice to illegal immigration.
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