The White House is transporting migrants into an airport in Chattanooga from where they are bused to cities within the Southeast, as first reported by local news outlet WRCB-TV Channel 3.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a statement to Fox News that the transportation of migrants is taking place in “the dead of night without the knowledge or permission of the communities involved.”
Lawmakers in the state are characterizing the situation as a symptom of the Biden administration’s policies and pursuant failure to control the flow of migrants at the border, which has now put their communities at risk.
Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., said in a statement to Fox News that his residents deserve answers from the administration.
“I have warned for months that President Biden’s failure at the border would result in a systematic resettling of migrants in our communities, burdening our schools, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies, and bringing an increase in drug trafficking and human smuggling,” Hagerty said. “A new reality is happening in our country—every town is now a border town.”
Blackburn said Biden has not only put these children at risk, but he is also putting Tennesseans at risk as she, too, demanded answers.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee led roughly 20 other Republican governors in sending a letter to the Biden administration calling for action at the southern border, noting that the immigration crisis was spilling over into many U.S. states.
“The Biden Administration refuses to secure the border and is instead scattering unaccompanied kids all over the country with no regard for the consequences,” Lee said in a statement to Fox News. “When we push back and demand answers, they cut off transparency and embolden one of the worst human trafficking crises we’ve seen at our border in the last 20 years.”
Spokespeople for the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services did not return Fox News’ requests for comment.
As previously reported by Fox News, the administration has been talking about fostering a decrease in the number of migrant children in U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facilities. However, as of last week, the number of children in HHS custody was more than 20,000.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said encounters at the border have declined to about 1,830 people per day but noted that a “fairly high” number of migrant children were still coming across.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.