U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) sent a letter with his colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, demanding answers after reports of illegal immigrants being transported and released by DHS in Tennessee and nationwide. The letter was co-led by Rep. Andy Harris (MD-01) and comes after multiple reports and arrests of individuals abusing underage migrants being housed in the Chattanooga area.
In the letter, the Members wrote:
"[O]ur constituents have contacted our offices with concerns and outrage over recent reports of aliens being transported and released, at taxpayer expense, into the interior of the United States under the cover of darkness. In light of these reports, we urgently request that you provide our offices a report, broken down by congressional district, detailing how many migrants who have entered the country illegally have been released into the United States, the cost to the federal government of transporting these migrants prior to release, and what security and health screening protocols were in place associated with any such release."
Further, the members wrote: "In addition to our concerns surrounding your department's policies with respect to detention of illegal border crossers, it is our firm belief that taxpayer resources should not be used to transport these individuals to secondary destinations within the interior, especially without proper notification to Members of Congress and local law-enforcement officials as well as full transparency for the general public."
Congressman Fleischmann issued the following statement:
"Since taking office last year, President Biden and Congressional Democrats have gone out of their way to undermine security at the southern border and import untold thousands of migrants into our country and my home state of Tennessee. There's no doubt that the illegal aliens released into the U.S. will disappear into communities nationwide and create stress on our economy, local law enforcement agencies, and drain taxpayer-funded services -- often at the disadvantage of minority-Americans. Our focus must be on restoring border security and ensuring all public services only go to legal Americans."
Congressman Harris issued the following statement:
"These alarming reports have rightly raised concerns among my constituents in Maryland. They know these illegal immigrants will place strains on their communities. They deserve a full accounting of the numbers of illegal aliens released into their neighborhoods. We all deserve to know the costs associated with transporting them across the country at taxpayer expense."
Rep. Fleischmann and Rep. Harris were joined in the letter by Reps. Ken Calvert (CA), Dan Newhouse (WA), Hal Rogers (KY), John Carter (TX), John Moolenaar (MI), Guy Reschenthaler (PA), Tony Gonzales (TX), John Rutherford (FL), Ashley Hinson (IA), Steven Palazzo (MS), Robert Aderholt (AL), Ben Cline (VA), Mark Amodei (NV), David Valadao (CA), Steve Womack (AR), Mike Simpson (ID), and Mike Garcia (CA).
The full copy of the letter can be found HERE.