It’s Time to End Biden’s Ghost Flights

The Immigration Transparency & Transit Notification Act would hold this administration accountable for the tragic crisis President Joe Biden has created and sustained at the U.S.-Mexico border.

by Newt Gingrich

As the world focuses on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we must not forget that the Biden administration is working every day to undermine our own borders – both national and state.

The crisis which President Joe Biden has created and sustained at the U.S.-Mexico border is a complete tragedy of human life, national security, and basic morality. Biden’s open border is fueling the illegal drug trade, human trafficking, and other harmful smuggling operations. It is providing an easy target for criminals and foreign agents who want to harm Americans. And it is eroding the legitimacy of our already struggling legal immigration system.

Despite all indications that the problems at the border will get worse – and only more dangerous for immigrants and Americans alike – the Biden administration has actively ignored the border crisis and allowed it to metastasize.

Rather than fixing the problems created by the Biden open border, the administration is simply trying to spread out the pain, so it seems less serious. Since at least December 2021, the Biden administration has been secretly relocating people who crossed the border illegally – including unaccompanied children – to American cities and towns through so-called “ghost flights.”

The administration has been filling flights (and in some cases buses) with people who crossed the border illegally, so they can be spirited away to communities away from the border. We know these relocations have happened in California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. There’s little reason to think the list isn’t much longer. We don’t know exactly who these people are – or precisely where they have been taken – because the administration isn’t releasing manifests or giving state or local officials any notice. However, we do know the people being transported aren’t being checked by law enforcement or public health officials for criminal records or COVID-19. 

Thankfully, I met with a group of lawmakers last week who are working to impose transparency on the Biden administration.

Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania (along with 56 other members of Congress) have sponsored the Immigration Transparency & Transit Notification Act. The law would force the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services to notify federal, state, and local officials about these relocations – both before they happen and in quarterly reports to Congress. This would allow governors to know who is coming into their states and provide an extra layer of protection for the unaccompanied children who are being taken to new, unfamiliar places. 

First, this is exactly the sort of popular, rational, common sense legislation that Republicans should be developing while they prepare to retake the majority in January. (Barring some extraordinary event, this is almost a certainty in the U.S. House and a serious likelihood in the U.S. Senate.)

But at the most basic level – beyond partisanship or legislative goals – Americans have the right to know who their government is bringing into their hometowns and communities. The Biden administration has been airdropping people – who already broke the law by attempting to sneak into the country – into cities and towns across the United States without checking their criminal histories or screening them for COVID-19.

That the administration has been doing this in the dead of night without telling anyone tells you everything you need to know. They know they are doing something Americans don’t want – so they are sneaking around.

Reps. Meuser – along with Reps. Brian Babin, Elise Stefanik, and the more than 50 other co-sponsors – are doing exactly the right thing in holding this administration accountable and forcing it to be honest about these ghost flights.

I hope every American who opposes this dishonest, sneaky Biden relocation program contacts his or her Congress member and Senators and urges them to support this bill – and pass it when Speaker Kevin McCarthy takes office in January.   

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