Tennessee lawmakers are speaking out after new reports that the Biden administration has been flying unaccompanied minors from the border into the state in the middle of the night without notification.
Multiple flights of unaccompanied minors have arrived over the past week in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during overnight hours at Wilson Air Center. The minors are then bused to a variety of locations through contracted tour bus companies.
Local NBC affiliate WRCB-TV broke the story on Wednesday evening.
The videos obtained by the station included a flight that arrived Friday just before 1:30 a.m. local time, with evidence of at least three other flights between then and Wednesday.
“A source with direct knowledge of the operation asked to remain anonymous but tells Channel 3 that approximately 30 to 50 minors are transported at a time, some to reunite with family members and others to go to group homes,” WRCB reported.
It continued, “He says the operation started in Dallas, Texas, but moved to small airports recently to avoid attention.”
Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn expressed concern about the report Wednesday night.
The Republican responded to WRBC’s request with the statement, “Our office has received no information from the Biden Administration informing us of a mass transportation of migrants to Tennessee.”
She continued, “It is absolutely unacceptable if the Biden Administration is facilitating a mass migration without any input or oversight from Tennesseans and the affected communities.”
It is absolutely unacceptable if the Biden Administration is facilitating a mass migration under cover of darkness without any input or oversight from Tennesseans and the affected communities.https://t.co/e2LKVvOa8e
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) May 19, 2021
Blackburn also provided a statement to Fox News in which she said the transportation of migrants is taking place in “the dead of night without the knowledge or permission of the communities involved.”
Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty also criticized the flights.
“I have warned for months that President Biden’s failure at the border would result in a systematic resettling of migrants in our communities, burdening our schools, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies, and bringing an increase in drug trafficking and human smuggling,” he said in a statement to Fox News.
“A new reality is happening in our country — every town is now a border town,” Hagerty added.
Further evidence of the systematic resettlement of migrants in our communities that is occurring because Biden won’t secure the border or enforce immigration laws, making illegal entry easy & removal of illegals nonexistent. It’s time for Biden to be transparent w/Tennesseans. https://t.co/RG7HXaCSXg
— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) May 19, 2021
The flights to Tennessee highlight that the illegal immigrant crisis has grown well beyond the nation’s southern border. States hundreds of miles away are being affected by the Biden administration’s immigration policies.
Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee recently joined a coalition of Republican governors in a letter to the Biden administration urging action at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The crisis at our border is too big to ignore, and it’s spilling into ALL of our states. I have led a joint letter with fellow Republican governors urging the Biden Administration to take immediate action at America’s southern border. pic.twitter.com/9Igedxj9qr
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) May 11, 2021
Earlier Wednesday, Blackburn had criticized another aspect of the border crisis.
“The border crisis has grown so large that the Biden Administration is sending staff from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to assist in caring for unaccompanied alien children,” she said in a statement.
The senator added, “The Biden Administration has failed to acknowledge the crisis and is using the federal workforce as a crutch rather than addressing the issue at hand.”
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