Top Tennessee Republicans slam Biden admin over ICE plan to release detained migrants in state

There have been multiple reports over the past year and a half of President Joe Biden’s administration quietly transporting and releasing detained migrants from the southern border to various parts of the country rather than expelling them immediately under the Title 42 public health order or deporting them back to their nations of origin.

Now comes word from top Tennessee officials that “multiple busloads” of detained migrants will soon be released in the Volunteer State by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and those officials are not happy about it, the Daily Wire reported.

The elected officials who are loudly pushing back against the Biden administration’s secretive plans include Tennessee Gov. Bil Lee (R), GOP U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, and state Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (R).

“Irresponsible and a threat”

In a joint statement from the governor and two senators, Gov. Lee said, “We’ve been informed by ICE that they plan to release single adult detainees into Tennessee while they await court proceedings. This is irresponsible and a threat to the safety of Tennesseans.”

“Furthermore, we already have a national security crisis at our border, and the Biden administration’s attempt to revoke Title 42 will only incentivize more illegal crossings. It’s not compassionate to perpetuate a problem that leads to more exploitation and trafficking,” he continued.

Noting that upwards of 7,000 migrants are estimated to enter the country unlawfully on a daily basis, Lee added, “This crisis is too big to ignore, and the only way to stop it is to secure the border. Placing the burden on states is not a solution, and we should not bear the brunt of the federal government’s failures. We are demanding the Biden administration reverse their plan for detainee relocation.”

Senators decry administration’s plans

“Joe Biden’s border crisis has made one thing abundantly clear — every town is a border town and every state is a border state,” Sen. Blackburn said. “The Biden Administration is trafficking illegal immigrants into communities across the country, including here in Tennessee.”

“Biden created this crisis by terminating successful Trump-era immigration policies, including Remain in Mexico and safe third country agreements. Tennesseans will not stand for this flagrant disregard for law and order,” she added.

Also weighing in was Sen. Hagerty, who noted that in addition to the illegal migrants who are being spread across the country, so too are dangerous illicit drugs like fentanyl along with hardened criminals and even individuals on the terror watchlist, and the combination of all of that has put an extraordinary strain on the limited resources of local governments that have to deal with the problems.

“In the last year, nearly three million migrants have illegally entered the country — a population larger than the largest four cities of Tennessee combined — Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga,” the senator said. “This does not even include the number of ‘gotaway’ migrants who illegally crossed into our country undetected.”

“Congress must take action to secure the border. It’s unfair to place the burden on Tennessee citizens and local officials to deal with this Administration’s self-inflicted failures,” he continued. “Yet shockingly, in spite of this ongoing humanitarian disaster, President Biden and Democrats in Congress have put forward a government funding bill that will only serve to exacerbate the crisis by increasing funding for resettlement operations while simultaneously ignoring that Title 42 — Border Patrol agents’ last enforcement tool — is on the cusp of expiring.”

“This is unacceptable. A nation without a border is not a sovereign nation. President Biden cannot ignore this crisis any longer,” Hagerty added.

“Exploring all options”

In a separate statement, Attorney General Skrmetti said, “Late last night, we learned of the President’s plan to bus ICE detainees to Tennessee. Tennesseans should not be forced to bear the burden of the federal government’s ongoing failure to secure the border. The Attorney General’s Office joins Governor Lee and our federal delegation in demanding the administration abandon their plan to release detainees into our state.”

He added, “We are exploring all options. The lack of appropriate notice and the lack of transparency by both the federal government and its local partners means we must work quickly, but we are committed to ensuring the safety of Tennessee’s citizens.”

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