A law enforcement source within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) provided Breitbart Texas with information regarding flights from Del Rio, Texas, to the U.S. interior.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says the flights transport mostly Haitian and Venezuelan migrants from Laughlin Air Force Base to areas around the Seattle and New Orleans ICE Field Offices. The migrants, who are not eligible for removal under the CDC’s Title 42 Emergency COVID-19 authority, are being processed for asylum and will likely be released once credible fear interviews take place.
The flights were not authorized by the Air Force until very recently. Earlier this month, Congressman Tony Gonzales (R-TX) urged Acting Secretary of the Air Force Jennifer Miller to authorize ICE’s use of the base to alleviate strains on local resources.
In a June 4 letter, Gonzales writes:
As you know, the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector is experiencing record levels of migrant apprehensions. Local, state, and federal entities in the region are thus severely limited in their detainment and processing capabilities. As a result, substantial numbers of migrants, pending trial, are being released into communities in my district, overwhelming local resources and creating unsustainable bottlenecks.
To help alleviate the high traffic this region is enduring, I urge you to collaborate with ICE to facilitate flights for migrants out of Laughlin Air Force Base and to their final destinations.
Border Patrol in Del Rio sees large groups of Haitians and Venezuelans illegally enter the city almost daily. The sector currently leads the nation in the apprehension of these cohorts.
The source within ICE says the flights help to relieve local community strains and also take the migrant releases further from the public eye at the border.
ICE utilizes chartered Boeing 737, 767, and 777 equipment to facilitate the movement of migrants within the United States and abroad.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.