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Sen. Bill Cassidy speaks out on the senate floor about ICE detainees in La.

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:21 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Members of the Louisiana delegation in Washington, D.C. are speaking out about the release of undocumented immigrants in cities across the state, including Monroe.

“It’s almost as if they are wishing the issue be swept under the rug, unfortunately, the crisis continues to worsen,” said Senator Bill Cassidy.

Last week, at least 75 detainees were released from facilities in Richwood, Jackson, and Winn Parishes. Monroe city officials said they were dropped off at the Monroe Regional Airport and transported to family members around the country.

Cassidy said he’s been trying to talk with ICE and the Biden Administration since last week. On July 21, he finally spoke with ICE’s acting director and he did not like what he had heard.

“He told me the drop-offs are not our common practice. I would argue that releasing migrants without notifying local officials, at least the NGOs that can give them help, particularly when some of them have no money, no contacts, no place to go, is not good, and he acknowledges that,” said Cassidy.

Congresswoman Julia Letlow is also demanding answers. In a statement she said:

“I am deeply troubled by the numerous reports of immigration detainees being released… I am outraged that neither Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Department of Homeland Security notified my office of these releases and neglected to inform other relevant federal, state, and local officials.”

Congressman Mike Johnson said he was told more drop-offs would be happening in Shreveport by the busloads.

“We were told by ICE officials to expect many more busloads, so I contacted those officials to ask questions, why now? What’s brought this about? And they explained to me that they’ve been given orders from on high, meaning through the white house, the administration, to empty out the facilities because obviously, we have a very porous border in this southern border and droves of people are coming over and it’s overwhelming our system,” said Johnson.

Johnson said giving little to no notice to local or state officials before the drop-offs happen is unfair to both the community and the immigrants.

“As of right now, we don’t know when the additional busloads are coming, how many people will be on them, who these people are,” said Johnson.

We reached out to ICE multiple times since last week to try to get answers.

In a statement, ICE said:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes custody determinations every day on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with U.S. law and Department of Homeland Security policy, considering the merits and factors of each case while adhering to current agency priorities, guidelines, and legal mandates.”

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