Demands Answers on Leaked DHS Plan to Transport Illegal Aliens Across the U.S.
WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), ranking member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, sent a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), demanding answers about reports that DHS is using taxpayer dollars to reimburse nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that transport illegal aliens across the country. The letter also requested information on a recently reported DHS plan to pay for busses and flights for illegal aliens directly. Along with the letter, the senator made public a list of NGOs Immigration and Customs Enforcement works with to transport aliens at the southern border.
The senator wrote, “It appears that a recently leaked DHS plan doubles down on this administration’s efforts to charge taxpayers for illegal aliens’ travel.” He added, “Taxpayer dollars should be used to secure our border not further exacerbate the Biden border crisis.”
Read more about the letter in Fox.
June 22, 2022
The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Dear Secretary Mayorkas:
The Biden administration’s open border policies have caused a crisis at our southern border. Border Patrol has already apprehended more than 1.4 million illegal aliens this fiscal year, and is on pace for a record year at the southern border. Under your leadership, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released more than 1 million illegal aliens into the interior of the U.S. Recent reports indicate that DHS is using taxpayer dollars to reimburse nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to transport these illegal aliens across the country. I write to request information about DHS payments to NGOs.
Earlier this year, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent stated that if an illegal alien’s family does not agree to pay the alien’s travel costs in the U.S., then an “NGO buys the ticket and bills the government.” Following these reports, my staff requested and received a list of NGOs that ICE works with to coordinate illegal aliens’ transportation following release from DHS custody. That enclosed list potentially shows only a fraction of the NGOs DHS and its components utilize.
It appears that a recently leaked DHS plan doubles down on this administration’s efforts to charge taxpayers for illegal aliens’ travel. According to this plan, DHS would pay to transport aliens away from the border and deeper into the U.S. Under DHS’s plan, taxpayers would foot the bill to send aliens to cities such as Los Angeles, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Houston and Dallas, Texas.
Taxpayer dollars should be used to secure our border not further exacerbate the Biden border crisis. To better understand DHS’s use of taxpayers’ dollars to transport illegal aliens throughout the U.S., I ask that you provide the following information:
- Does DHS provide any funding, financial support, or reimbursement to any NGOs, including, but not limited to, those found on the list enclosed herein, for the travel of illegal aliens apprehended at the southern border?
- If DHS does provide any funding, financial support, or reimbursement, please provide a list of all NGOs that receive such support.
- If DHS or any of its components work with these NGOs to facilitate illegal aliens’ travel, please explain the nature of that work broken down by component and sector.
- Please identify the source of the funding (e.g. contract, grant, reimbursement, etc.), the purpose of the funding provided, the scale of the travel (e.g. number of tickets purchased, final destinations, mode of transportation, etc.) and the amount of funding provided, for Fiscal Years 2019, 2020, 2021, and year to date for fiscal year 2022 broken down by NGO.
- Please provide all records referring or relating to the aforementioned DHS plan that leaked on June 8, 2022.
Please provide this information as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 6, 2022. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
 U.S. Homeland Security, Nationwide Enforcement Encounters, CBP.gov, Last modified May 13, 2022, https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/nationwide-encounters; see also, Luke Barr and Stephanie Guerilus, Migrant arrivals at southern border soared to 22-year high in March, ABC News, Apr. 16, 2022, https://abcnews.go.com/US/migrant-arrivals-southern-border-soared-22-year-high/story?id=84126036.
 Texas et al. v. Biden et al, No. 2:21-cv-00067-Z, (N.D. Tex. 2022). In this litigation, DHS is required to file monthly status updates with the court containing certain immigration statistics. According to these filings, DHS has released nearly 1.05 million aliens into the interior of the U.S.
 Bill Melugin and Adam Shaw, ICE agents forced to coordinate travel for illegal immigrants, some with criminal records: source, Fox News, Jan. 27, 2022, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ice-removal-operations-turned-into-unofficial-travel-coordination-agency-source-says.
 Julia Ainsley, Amid border surge, Biden admin plans to send migrants to cities deeper inside U.S., starting with L.A., say internal documents, NBC News, Jun. 8, 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/border-surge-biden-admin-plans-send-migrants-cities-deeper-us-starting-rcna32530.
 “Records” include any written, recorded, or graphic material of any kind, including letters, memoranda, reports, notes, electronic data (emails, email attachments, and any other electronically-created or stored information), calendar entries, inter-office communications, meeting minutes, phone/voice mail or recordings/records of verbal communications, and drafts (whether or not they resulted in final documents).