Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) blasted the Department of Homeland Security Thursday for its lack of responsiveness to his multiple inquiries about the Department’s transfer of illegal immigrants throughout the interior of the United States.
Describing the Department’s stonewalling to be “both a disappointment and an insult,” Gosar pointed out in a letter to the Department that it has been more than 90 days since he first posed his questions to DHS, primarily about the authority it is using to transfer illegal immigrants throughout the U.S.
“I am appalled at the Department’s lack of response to these legitimate questions,” Gosar said in a statement. “The most important and timely question relayed to the Department during these exchanges was ‘What statutory authority, Presidential executive order, or memo from the Office of the Secretary is used as a basis for these transfers and process involved?’ The silence has been deafening. It should not take DHS attorneys and policy staff 90+ days to get Congress an answer to this fundamental question.”
According to Gosar, the only response he has received has been an acknowledgement that DHS received a letter he sent on June 13 in which he posed over 20 questions about the transfers of illegal immigrants throughout the country.
In the letter of acknowledgment, he noted, DHS said that his questions were “a high priority” and that the Department was trying to respond to him “as soon as possible.”
“Respectfully, I find these statements to be disingenuous at best,” Gosar wrote in a letter Thursday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowski, and Thomas S. Winkowski repeating his request for answers about the movement of illegal immigrants on the part of the Department.
“I will reiterate that my first question regarding information about the statutory authority, if any, that the Department is using to transfer illegal immigrants within the United States is of paramount concern to many Members of Congress. I ask that you respond to this first question as soon as humanly possible,” he wrote.
From January 1 to July 31, more than 37,400 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors have been transferred to sponsors across the United States. According to Gosar, ICE officials told his staff that it cost $53,000 per flight to transport illegal immigrants to other areas, provided the flight was full.
Gosar charged that the Department’s failure to respond promptly is a “stall tactic.”
“Meanwhile, this Department (and many others in the Obama Administration) continues to keep Congress in the dark so they may manipulate the law as they see fit, rather than follow it by prescription,” he continued in a statement. “Though I am troubled by what is happening in the executive branch, I can no longer say that I am surprised. I will continue to press the Administration to be forthright and transparent. I will continue to ask the President and his subordinates to work with Congress rather than against it.”