Wicker, Hyde-Smith, Colleagues Call for Accountability on Illegal Immigrant Flights

Miss. Senators Question DHS Secretary on Reports of Overnight Flights

February 4, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., on Thursday signed a letter requesting a full accounting of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities surrounding the relocation of illegal immigrants throughout the country.

The letter, signed by 13 Senators, asks Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to explain reports that ICE is processing large groups of single adult illegal immigrants at makeshift borders and loading them onto planes to be shuttled into communities across America.

“In light of the public reporting around ‘midnight flights’ of illegal immigrants, we request a full accounting of your Department’s activities so that we can understand the scope of this challenge,” wrote the Senators. “We are concerned that the use of these midnight flights by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is intended to obfuscate the Administration’s failure to secure our borders and protect hardworking, law-abiding Americans.” 

“It is deeply troubling to learn, according to an ICE source, that at a time when millions of Americans are struggling with inflation, their hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being used to transport illegal immigrants across the country, including dangerous criminal aliens,” the Senators continued. “This appears to contradict the guidance you issued in September 2021, where you stated that a ‘noncitizen who poses a current threat to public safety, typically because of serious criminal conduct, is a priority for apprehension and removal.’”

“We are alarmed by the reports of mass release of criminal illegal immigrants into our communities under the cover of darkness. The American people deserve answers to why their taxpayer dollars are being used to fly illegal immigrants across the country to be released into our backyards. Public safety and national security are on the line,” the Senators concluded.

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, R-N.C., led the letter, which was also signed by Senators Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Todd Young, R-Ind., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, John Boozman, R-Ark., and Steve Daines, R-Mont.

The full letter can be found here.