Senator Cassidy reacts to recent migrant drop-offs in Louisiana

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - At least 75 undocumented immigrants were dropped off at Monroe Regional Airport last week. The city said they came from correctional centers in Northeast Louisiana and will be sent to their families throughout the United States.

Nearly 80 Haitian migrants were left in Shreveport. Dropoffs are also happening in Natchez and Baton Rouge.

Senator Bill Cassidy blames President Biden’s border crisis.

“Happened with little or no notice to state or local officials. In my mind, it shows the incoherence and dysfunction of Biden’s administration immigration and border policies,” said Senator Cassidy.

He says the crisis at the border will only get worse if this continues.

“They claim they care for the immigrants but we’re being told some are being dropped off without money, without papers, and are they concerned about controlling the border? It’s almost as if they are sweeping people under the rug, but the crisis continues to worsen,” said Senator Cassidy.

According to Cassidy, he can’t get answers from ICE or President Biden. KNOE reached out to ICE asking how many detainees are being held in NELA. They sent us a statement instead.

“ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), New Orleans Field Office, is transporting individuals, in accordance with COVID-19 protocols, released from ICE custody to regional airports or bus stations. Individuals released from ICE custody have transportation and a temporary support plan in place prior to release.”

Cassidy wonders if the undocumented immigrants are being released due to overcrowding because of the border crisis. Immigration Attorney Michael Gahagan said how and when they’re released is up to ICE.

“They have the discretion to hold them for a very long period of time without bond, or to issue a bond, or to just release them on their own recognizance,” said Gahagan.

Gahagan agrees their release could be from overcrowding and they’re prioritizing who gets released.

“Immigration and customs enforcement may due to jail overcrowding, or change in the department of justice priorities, maybe they want to prioritize criminal aliens as opposed to people who enter the country illegally,”

We’ll continue asking about how many migrants are being housed in NELA and update you as we get answers.

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