Federal escorts dressed in civilian clothing are quietly putting illegal immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border on taxpayer-funded flights and secretly taking them to unsuspecting communities across the U.S., according to a government-watchdog agency.
“In the last few days alone, groups of illegal aliens boarded planes at airports in Texas and Arizona accompanied by a taxpayer-funded government escort in civilian clothes to avoid drawing attention,” Judicial Watch reported Friday. “The first flight originated at Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas, and was bound for Minneapolis. The second left from Tucson International Airport and arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, federal sources said.”
In both cases, illegal immigrants, who appeared to be in their teens, were reportedly escorted by Health and Human Services chaperones.
Judicial Watch said Friday that “high-ranking Homeland Security officials” confirmed its report. The organization said it reached out to HHS for comment but hadn’t received a response from the agency. WND requested comment from HHS on Monday but hadn’t received a reply at the time of this report.
‘Shameful and dangerous’
A source described as a “veteran federal official” told Judicial Watch the illegal immigrants, who are given a red HHS wristband, receive “the gold glove treatment.” They’re reportedly boarded on the commercial flights before other passengers and even law-enforcement authorities.
“It is shameful and dangerous,” said a “seasoned Homeland Security agent with direct knowledge of the secret operations.”
Judicial Watch noted that personnel from Department of Homeland Security agencies have expressed serious concern about costs and security risks of transporting illegal immigrants to communities all over the U.S. The government watchdog cited an unnamed Immigration and Customs Enforcement official who was reportedly present at meetings on the issue. One closed-door meeting in late 2017 is said to have included President Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. As WND recently reported, Kelly has said some of Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were “uninformed” and that the U.S. only needs about 700 miles of border wall, which Mexico’s government will not fund.
“It appears that the Trump administration has chosen to ignore the concerns of rank-and-file federal agents, instead opting to quietly extend the controversial Obama-era policy that relocates illegal immigrants to unsuspecting communities nationwide,” wrote the government watchdog agency. “It is known as ‘Catch and Release’ and frustrated DHS sources tell Judicial Watch the Trump administration is essentially facilitating the ongoing commission of a federal immigration crime despite its tough border security rhetoric.”
Judicial Watch cited a Nov. 15, 2017, Washington Times report that revealed U.S. Border Patrol agents who bring illegal immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, or ICE, detention facilities have actually been turned away because the federal deportation agency says it doesn’t have beds for the illegals.
“We’re going to have to release them out our front door,” Brandon Judd, an agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, told the Times. “Even if we try to turn them over to them, they’re just not going to take them. The moment we start releasing them out our front door, you’re going to see a huge increase take place in the numbers coming across.”
That’s because illegal immigrants send word back home that the U.S. is simply catching and releasing people who come to the state illegally. And it triggers a flood of U.S.-bound migrants.
“The people that are supposed to be enforcing Trump’s policy, they’re just not,” Judd said. “They’re not following through on the promises he made.”
‘Just move those bodies across the country’
Judicial Watch said many Americans had great hope that President Trump would put a stop to Obama-era policies that released illegal immigrants into communities across the U.S.
In 2016, the organization issued a bombshell report revealing the Department of Homeland Security had been “quietly transporting illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix and releasing them without proper processing or issuing court appearance documents.”
The illegal immigrants, who were classified as “Other Than Mexican,” or OTMs, came from countries including Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala.
“They’re telling us to put them on a bus and let them go,” an Arizona law enforcement official told JW at the time. “Just move these bodies across the country.”
Meanwhile, the federal government was shut down for days as Democrats demand legislation to protect illegal immigrant youth protected from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. By Monday afternoon, it appeared Congress would pass a deal to keep the federal government funded through Feb. 8. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly promised to bring forward a DACA bill before that date.
“I am pleased that Democrats and Republicans in Congress have now come to their senses,” President Trump said in a statement Monday. “We will make a long term deal if and only if it’s good for our country.”
Also on Monday, the Center for Immigration Studies released an analysis revealing more than 500 people who received DACA protection – and had their protected status revoked because of criminal acts or gang involvement – are still living in America. CIS states that only 30 percent of more than 2,100 ex-DACA criminal aliens had been deported or were in federal custody.
Americans send message to President Trump
William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, or ALIPAC, told WND his organization is calling on Americans to flood President Trump’s phone line at (202) 456-1111 and Twitter and Facebook pages to “insist that he immediately end the Trump-DACA deal border surge and the taxpayer funded secretive flights for illegal immigrants.” Gheen is also asking callers to contact Republicans in Congress and “make sure they understand that the term DACA is toxic, highly negative among people.”
“These are things that must be ended immediately before anybody talks about DACA or anything else,” Gheen told WND. “The fact that these two things are happening – that there’s a new surge at the border, as there always is when they talk about amnesty instead of enforcement, and that they’re still using taxpayer dollars to fly them around on planes – is outlandish. Many Trump supporters, myself included, are absolutely flabbergasted and shocked that these two things would still be happening a year into the Trump presidency.”
He urged, “Call Trump and ask him to end his border surge and his flights for illegals program.”
Gheen also pointed out that the president doesn’t need Congress’ approval to enforce existing U.S. immigration laws.
“On behalf of most sane Americans, Donald Trump, please stop what you’re doing, acting like you need Congress and Democrats to cut deals on things to do what you promised to do,” Gheen urged.
“Donald Trump promised us many years of strong enforcement of our existing laws, including wide-scale deportations, before there would be any discussion about what to do with the DACA or Dreamer or remaining illegal immigrants. This was his specific promise to us in his Phoenix, Arizona, immigration policy speech. It wasn’t a campaign stump speech. It was his immigration policy speech. The policy, what he promised America, is what he’s breaking faith with. And we want him to return to it.”
Gheen also warned that politicians who try to be deal makers on this issue usually see their efforts backfire.
“Every politician we’ve seen try to play both sides on this, as a deal maker, it’s ended up destroying more of the country and their political aspirations,” he said. “It happened with Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry. All these people tried to play both sides on immigration and Americans don’t need somebody playing both populist to the crowd and then globalist in the Oval Office. We need a person who is loyal to America first, and Americans first, in all things.”
Should any DACA deal pass, Gheen said, “[F]rom that day forward, all of our lives will change for the worse, irrevocably. The enforcement provisions that are supposed to be in the bill will never fully manifest, and the amnesty will be three to five times larger than it was supposed to be – which will hand Democrats control [of several states].”
As WND reported, a DACA deal giving amnesty to illegal immigrants could flip four or even five traditionally Republican-leaning states to Democrats in future elections. Those states are: Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.
Of the five, Texas, with 34 electoral votes, has the most impact on presidential election outcomes. Florida has 29; North Carolina, 15; Georgia, 16; and Arizona, 11. In 2016, Trump won Texas 52.2 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 43.2 percent. His winning margin in Florida was much tighter at 48.6 percent to 47.4 percent. Trump took North Carolina with 49.8 percent to 46.2 percent; Arizona, 48.1 percent to 44.6 percent; and Georgia, 50.4 percent to Clinton’s 45.3 percent.
But political trends in those traditionally Republican-leaning states could see a shift if illegal immigrants known as DREAMers, or illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as minors, are offered amnesty and particularly if they’re eventually given voting rights. Those fives states host large numbers DREAMers, as Fortune magazine reported last January.
In September, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan reported that, if DACA recipients are given amnesty, at least 1.4 million legal immigrants would enter the U.S. through chain migration, which is when legal migrants and naturalized citizens are allowed to bring foreign family members into the country. When those family members get legal status, they, too, can bring in more foreigners.
In one study, Princeton University researchers found that 618,342 illegal-immigrant DACA recipients from Mexico could bring in as many as 4 million relatives.