(USNewsMag.com) – A group of Republicans in the House, led by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman and Louisiana Rep. Sam Graves, are asking Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to stop a plan to house illegal migrants at airports.
Seventy Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves, and New York Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, signed the letter.
The request follows an August letter from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to New York that recommends 11 federal sites where migrants could be housed, including Atlantic City Airport in New Jersey and Massena International Airport in New York. Migrants are already being housed at JFK airport in a hangar, as well as at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.
The lawmakers are concerned with the “lack of regard” for security risks at airports where migrants are being housed. Before airports are used for nonaeronautical purposes, the lawmakers state that permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is generally required.
In the letter, the lawmakers state that they are adamantly opposed to “these ill-conceived plans” that “utilize America’s infrastructure” inappropriately. The letter requests that Buttigieg reject the plan.
The lawmakers asked in the letter how many airports, as well as which airports, are currently being used as shelters for migrants. The letters also asked if the FAA has granted requests from any of the airports to be used to shelter migrants. The lawmakers requested to know to what extent the FAA was consulted about the plan to use airports as shelters for migrants, as well as what the response from the FAA was.
The crisis at the southern border has led to states, including New York, facing an unprecedented surge of illegal aliens. New York has stated it is out of room to house migrants. Cities and states have also sought help from the federal government. To deal with the crisis, the Biden administration requested $14 billion in emergency supplemental funding, including $1.4 billion for “shelter and services” for migrants that have been released from DHS custody. The administration also gave states and non-governmental organizations $800 million to help with migrants that have been released into the interior of the United States.
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