The Biden administration’s apparent plan to end the policy of family detention has been denounced by former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan.
On Friday, ICE said in a court filing that it will transform family detention centers to short-term centers that release illegal immigrants after no more than 72 hours, according to NBC. As such, that would spell the end of the family detention policy first adopted by former President Barack Obama in 2014.
The Washington Post reported that draft plans developed by the Department of Homeland Security mean that “The Biden administration is preparing to convert its immigrant family detention centers in South Texas into Ellis Island-style rapid-processing hubs that will screen migrant parents and children with a goal of releasing them into the United States within 72 hours.”
ILLEGALS WILL BE HOUSED IN HOTELS DUE 2NO SPACE IN DETENTION CENTERS WHILE HOMELESS WHICH INCLUDES MILITARY VETERANS,FAMILIES SLEEP ON THE STREETS OF THE RICHEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD…&WASHINGTON WILL GIVE A TRILLION DOLLARS 2FRIENDS,FAMILY,BIG BUSINESS AND FOREIGN COUNTRIES🖤
— Mrs. E. (@DesertCatsRule) March 5, 2021
Homan ripped into that plan on Saturday during an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
“They are changing these detention centers to what they call ‘reception centers,’” Homan said.
“They are actually welcoming centers because they get them in there quickly, they don’t test them, they release them and when they release them, they release them on an NTA, Notice to Appear … which means as they get to their destination they qualify for work authorization,” Homan said, according to the Daily Caller.
(While there have been no changes from the Trump administration to the Biden administration when it comes to testing migrants for COVID-19, the fact that the current administration is releasing more of them into American communities indicates a greater risk to Americans.)
“So not only are they pushing back against our public health crisis by having COVID being released, they are competing for the same scarce jobs that many Americans are competing for right now with the unemployment crisis,” he said.
The Post reported that an email from Russell Hott, a senior ICE official, said unaccompanied minors and families crossing the border “are expected to be the highest numbers observed in over 20 years.”
Hott said that at the current pace of than 500 family members per day, the Texas facilities “may not be sufficient to keep pace with apprehensions.”
If that happens, he said, ICE will look at housing illegal immigrant families in hotels in McAllen, Texas, El Paso and Phoenix, Arizona.
Homan said the Biden administration could have kept families in “an ICE family residential center that had doctors, nurses, children’s doctors and they had keeping people with diseases separate from other people,” but is more concerned with “how quick we can release them.”
Homan voiced concerns over the coronavirus running rampant among illegal immigrants and said 6.3 percent of migrants tested positive for the virus in Brownsville, Texas and 13.8 percent in Cameron County, Texas.
“Any of these percentages would have shut down New York … but the Biden administration is choosing to release them into our communities. It’s incompetence,” Homan said.
He said he is “not confident about this administration doing anything that’s right when it comes to immigration enforcement or the safety and security of this country.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced concerns that the crisis has grown out of control.
“Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of this pandemic,” Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas tweeted. “I urge the Biden administration to listen and work with the communities on the southern border who are dealing with this influx. Inaction is not an option.”
Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of this pandemic. I urge the Biden administration to listen and work with the communities on the southern border who are dealing with this influx.
Inaction is not an option. https://t.co/bm7IMSzFGS
— Rep. Henry Cuellar (@RepCuellar) March 4, 2021
Kentucky Republican Rep. James Comer was blunt about the issue.
“There is no question there’s a crisis at the border,” he said, according to The Post, “It’s Joe Biden’s fault. Joe Biden has signaled to the world that he’s not going to take border security seriously.”
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