AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
First it was midnight flights. Then, it was a secretive busing operation. Now, according to a group of House Republicans, the Biden administration may be planning to transport migrants to the interior of the country via Amtrak – a move that the lawmakers would say not only be a threat to national security, but would endanger the country’s already precarious supply chains.
In a letter to the president of Amtrak, the GOP House Members express concern about “the impact that a significantly greater border surge could cause to your services and the potential use of Amtrak in the administration’s response to its self-created border crisis.” a federally funded entity, Amtrak is subject to congressional oversight, and the lawmakers warn that use of the service to transport illegal immigrants would “constitute an unconscionable use of significant amounts of taxpayer funds and resources.”
Specifically, Republicans are worried that the Biden administration could look to move migrants from one section of the border to another for processing, something which they caution would be an inconvenience for travelers and clog up vital supply lines. Amtrak customers as well as interrupt freight traffic that could further exacerbate the supply chain crisis,” the letter states, before asking for documents related to plans to use Amtrak to transport illegal immigrants.
The added concern comes as the Biden administration moves to end Title 42, a Trump-era border policy that allows border patrol officials to quickly expel migrants. Law enforcement officials throughout the Southwest have stressed that the situation along the border is already untenable, and that ending Title 42 will only exacerbate the problem. Nearly two million people have already crossed the border illegally in 2022, including more than 500,000 “gotaways,” or people that the government has no information on – a major national security threat. Several prominent Democrats in Congress have spoken out against ending Title 42, yet the Biden administration has plowed ahead anyway.
The looming threat of trains filled with illegal immigrants is just the latest expansion of the Biden administration’s schemes to ferry illegal immigrants to all corners of the country (but notably not to Democrats’ self-proclaimed “sanctuary cities”). the Biden administration has ducked questions about so-called “ghost flights,” planes filled with young, overwhelmingly male, illegal immigrants taken into custody at the border. The flights have been spotted landing everywhere from White Plains, New York, to rural Pennsylvania. The mainstream media and some administration officials have denied the existence of these flights, despite them being caught on video multiple times.
In order to justify their movement of migrants throughout the country, the Biden administration has relied on a series of court decisions, beginning with the 1993 case. Reno v. FloresThe case addressed the detention of unaccompanied minors who arrived at the border, with several immigration advocacy groups arguing that the conditions and treatment they received after entering the country illegally constituted a violation of their rights. The Clinton administration ultimately settled the case with the Flores. Agreement, which stipulated that: “it is an administrative responsibility to release children from detention without unnecessary delay to a parent or adult relative or licensed juvenile programs willing to accept custody.” This, together with the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) , mandated those undocumented children who arrived at the border unaccompanied must be released within 72 hours to “a family member, or shelter, or foster home.”
Because of this 72-hour mandate, it is often difficult and sometimes impossible for immigration services to verify the age or placement of a child. In 2019, a report found that thousands of illegal immigrants lied or falsified documents about their age or family relationships after crossing the border. According to NPR, “This includes migrants who claim to be children, but who are actually 18 or older, as well as adults who falsely claim to be parents of minors they’re traveling with.” These individuals often “present themselves at the US border knowing that parents and children traveling together are usually released while their asylum cases are pending in immigration court.”
There have even been reports of adults throwing away documents before crossing the border, hoping to pass as children. Agents who have been more thorough in verifying the age of individuals crossing the border illegally have been the subject of such extreme media scrutiny and attacks from pro -immigration groups that some border patrol advocacy groups have warned of a potential “chilling effect” against agents verifying information.
Last year, the New York Post revealed that the Biden administration had contracted a private security firm to quietly transport these undocumented and unverified “minors” across the country. The company, MVM Inc., has received at least $136 million in taxpayer dollars to fly These individuals across the country to their declared destinations. The flights, though visible through air traffic software, are not publicly disclosed or listed; hence the term “ghost flights.” Once they arrive, there is no ongoing monitoring or verification. legal adult can declare himself a minor at the border, find a “family” willing to claim him, be transported to them within 72 hours, then go where he pleases with impunity – all thanks to taxpayer money.
Republicans in Congress have tried to stop this practice, both through legislation and public awareness efforts like the letter to Amtrak’s CEO. But without control of either chamber of Congress or the White House, there is little they can do to force any policy changes. Biden and congressional Democrats apparently dismissive of the suffering these decisions are causing, it looks like it will be up to voters to elect new leaders who will solve this crisis.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.
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