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A candidate for governor in Pennsylvania says that the Biden administration has secret flights with illegal aliens on them and that they are being dropped off in his state.
Lou Barletta, a Republican, said that one flight landed last week at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, while another arrived about a week earlier at Scranton International Airport, Pennsylvania.
On his campaign website, Barletta showed pictures he said were from chartered aircraft that took off from El Paso, Texas, on Christmas Eve and landed in Scranton just before the holiday.
His site reads: “Witnesses at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport took photographs of one of the planes being met by a charter bus for ground transportation. The Christmas night flights follow another plane on December 17, this one operated by iAero Airways, also known to contract with ICE for flights of illegal immigrants.”
Biden administration officials are playing games with the safety of Pennsylvanians, according to Barletta.
‘The incredible secrecy and disregard for Pennsylvanians continues,’ he said.
‘First, we had to discover for ourselves that illegal immigrants were being shipped into Northeast Pennsylvania on at least four flights.
‘But then when people demanded information, the flights were shifted to the Lehigh Valley and they just hoped no one would notice.’
Representative Matt Cartwright of the Democratic Party disputed his claim, claiming the flights were run by a government program run by the Department of Health and Human Services for several administrations.
They carried children unaccompanied by their parents who came from Central American countries, including Honduras and Guatemala, he said.
‘They find vetted sponsors where these children go,’ Cartwright added.
‘They come over the border, they’re in Texas, they’re unaccompanied, they need to go someplace.
‘They have vetted sponsors where they go. These sponsors have to sign a contract that says that they will bring these kids to their court hearing.’
Cartwright stated that the planes were supposed to go to other airports, but because of staffing issues, they had to land elsewhere.
Republican officials are none-to-happy about it, regardless.
Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA) wrote to the DHS Secretary and to ICE stating, ‘I am extremely concerned by recent reports that the federal government has flown illegal immigrants to the Wilkes Barre-Scranton International Airport (AVP).’
‘It is my understanding that a total of 130 immigrants, 118 minors and 12 adults, arrived aboard an iAero charter flight on Friday, December 17, and were subsequently transported on buses from a private hangar.
‘This flight seems to have occurred without airport officials receiving notice or a passenger manifest.’
Barletta stated that up to 180 illegal immigrants could have been aboard the December 17 chartered flight.
‘Secret planes’ from El Paso, Texas arrived in Scranton with even more migrants on Christmas, Barletta said on Sunday.
As a result of the secrecy surrounding migrant transportation, including flights arriving in the middle of the night without a public manifest of passengers, they have been referred to as ‘ghost flights.
Meuser, whose district borders Scranton, says officials and lawmakers in Pennsylvania weren’t informed of the flights and he is asking why the migrants would end up in the city.
Meuser claims he can’t answer the questions of his constituents regarding the immigration influx to Scranton without proper communication from the White House and its immigration and national security departments.
Scranton is part of the district represented by Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat. An inquiry regarding whether Cartwright knew about the flights before they landed in his district was not answered by his office.
Cartwright’s office did, however, send a statement by the Democrat that stated: ‘These are legitimate concerns and we’ve been looking into it.’
‘We know that during the last two administrations, federal agencies have responded to overcrowding issues by relocating unaccompanied children to the custody of properly screened family members, host sponsors, and charitable institutions.’ The statement did not say whether he knew the flights with illegal aliens on them were headed to Scranton.
Meuser, a Republican, said the ‘lack of communication and transparency surrounding this process is unacceptable.’
‘Pennsylvanians deserve to know about these decisions affecting their community, and I expect immediate answers,’ he wrote to Mayorkas and Johnson, along with a series of nine questions.
Under Trump, Mike Howell, who was DHS oversight counsel, stated to reporters that the department was ‘acting as travel agents who distribute illegal aliens around the country wherever they wish to go.’
‘This is just one part of the administration’s open-borders agenda, and is a clear constitutional abuse meant to alter the electorate in a swing state in a way the administration believes will benefit the left,’ he went on. Currently, Howell works as a senior advisor to the Heritage Foundation’s government relations unit.
‘Hopefully, some brave patriots at DHS will come forward to Congress as whistleblowers, to tell the truth,’ Howell concluded.
Most of the migrants who have been relocated are minors. They arrived after the Biden administration was compelled to restart its Migrant Protection Program, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico policy. The program was started by Trump and migrants who cross the border illegally are sent back to Mexico to wait for court dates instead of remaining in the U.S. Many who wait in the US do not show up for court and move to the interior of the country.
The move comes after the Pentagon reallocated projects to DHS so that it could plug border wall gaps and strengthen security at more vulnerable points of the southern border.
Since Biden became vice president, US Customs and Border Protection officers have encountered more than 1.75 million migrants on the southern border.
As of this month, officers encountered 173,620 illegal crossers – a significant increase over the 164,753 crossings in October.
This represents a 140% increase in illegal crossings from last November when only 72,113 encounters were reported.
The Center for Immigration Studies reported that immigrants accounted for 14.2 percent of the U.S. population as of November 2021, according to the Current Population Survey (CPS) of the Census Bureau.
In total, 46.2 million immigrants live in the United States, both legally and illegally.
With the latest figures, the proportion of immigrants in the U.S. has reached its highest level in 111 years. In addition, it has tripled since 1970 and doubled since 1990.
Republican critics of Biden’s border policies have suggested sending migrants to Democratic strongholds such as Wilmington, Delaware, where Biden was born, and Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obama’s own a home.
Barletta wants to know what’s going on with the flights to his state.
Last month, Barletta confronted the current Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf, and PA AG Josh Shapiro, both of whom are Democrats, about the secret flights.
Barletta told them, ‘It is extremely difficult to adequately screen people and conduct a thorough background check when they have entered the country by illegal means.’
During the last fiscal year under the Biden administration, U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 10,763 migrants who had been convicted of crimes prior to entering the US illegally.
The fiscal year prior to that, under the Trump administration, Border Patrol agents arrested only 2,438 criminal illegals. The massive uptick in arrests is due to Biden leaving the border wide open.