A Pennsylvania Republican candidate for governor claims secret flights are carrying illegal immigrants into the state.
Lou Barletta said a flight landed at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown last Thursday and that others arrived at Scranton a week earlier.
Barletta accused the Biden administration of playing games with the safety of people in Pennsylvania.
'The incredible secrecy and disregard for Pennsylvanians continues,' he said.
'First, we had to discover for ourselves that illegal immigrants were being shipped into Northeast Pennsylvania on at least four flights.
'But then when people demanded information, the flights were shifted to the Lehigh Valley and they just hoped no one would notice.'
A photo shared by Rep. Lou Barletta apparently shows an evening flight of illegal immigrants arriving at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport
Barletta, who is running for governor of Pennsylvania, said the flights showed the Biden administration was playing games with the safety of people in the state
Barletta shared data from a flight tracking website that showed how planes arriving at Wilkes Barre-Scranton International Airport (AVP) had originated at El Paso, Texas
But Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright disputed his claims, saying the flights were part of a Department of Health and Human Services program that had been running for several administrations.
They carried unaccompanied children who had arrived from countries in Central America, including Honduras and Guatemala, he told WNEP.
'They find vetted sponsors where these children go,' he said recently.
'They come over the border, they're in Texas, they're unaccompanied, they need to go someplace.
'They have vetted sponsors where they go. These sponsors have to sign a contract that says that they will bring these kids to their court hearing.'
They were originally destined to be flown to other airports, he added, but staff shortages at their intended destinations led to a change of plans.
However, their arrival has riled Republican lawmakers in state.
'I am extremely concerned by recent reports that the federal government has flown illegal immigrants to the Wilkes Barre-Scranton International Airport (AVP),' Rep. Dan Meuser from Pennsylvania wrote to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson last month.
'It is my understanding that a total of 130 immigrants, 118 minors and 12 adults, arrived aboard an iAero charter flight on Friday, December 17 and were subsequently transported on buses from a private hangar.
'This flight seems to have occurred without airport officials receiving notice or a passenger manifest.'
Barletta, suggested the December 17 chartered flight could have carried as many as 180 illegal immigrants.
Barletta said Sunday that there were two more 'secret planes' from El Paso, Texas that landed in Scranton on Christmas with even more migrants.
GOP Rep. Dan Meuser is demanding answers after the administration sent flights of migrants to Pennsylvania in December
The transportation of migrants has been described as 'ghost flights' due to the secrecy surrounding them, including impromptu flights arriving in the middle of the night without a public manifest of passengers.
Meuser, whose district falls on the outskirts of Scranton, said that Pennsylvania lawmakers and officials were not informed of the flights and he is questioning whether Scranton is the final destination for these migrants.
Biden was born in Scranton and often refers to it lovingly as his hometown. But the president moved from Pennsylvania when he was 10 and lived in Delaware from there on.
Meuser said at least 130 migrants were sent to Scranton, while another former Pennsylvania lawmaker claimed there were 180. Pictured: Haitian migrants cross into the U.S. from Mexico on December 27 to claim asylum to Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas
'Pennsylvanians deserve to know about these decisions affecting their community, and I expect immediate answers,' Meuser wrote to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson
Meuser claims his constituents have questions surrounding the migration influx to Scranton that he is unable to answer without proper communication from the White House and their imigration and national security agencies.
U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat, represents the district that encompasses Scantron. His office did not address a DailyMail.com inquiry of whether Cartwright was made aware of the flights before they arrived in his district.
Cartwright's office did, however, send along a statement from the Democratic representative saying: 'These are legitimate concerns and we've been looking into it.'
'We know that during the last two administrations, federal agencies have responded to overcrowding issues by relocating unaccompanied children to the custody of properly screened family members, host sponsors, and charitable institutions,' he added, without clarifying if he knew that flights of migrants were headed to Scranton.
On the other hand, Republican Meuser said the 'lack of communication and transparency surrounding this process is unacceptable.'
'Pennsylvanians deserve to know about these decisions affecting their community, and I expect immediate answers,' he wrote to Mayorkas and Johnson, along with a series of nine questions.
Mike Howell, who helped lead the DHS oversight counsel under Trump, told DailyMail.com that the agency is 'acting as travel agents who distribute illegal aliens around the country wherever they wish to go.'
'This is just one part of the administration's open-borders agenda, and is a clear constitutional abuse meant to alter the electorate in a swing state in a way the administration believes will benefit the left,' said Howell, who serves as a senior advisor for government relations for the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.
'Hopefully some brave patriots at DHS will come forward to Congress as whistleblowers to tell the truth,' he added.
The relocation of migrants, mostly minors, comes as the Biden administration was forced to restart its Migrant Protection Program, otherwise known as Remain in Mexico policy. The Donald Trump-era program has the U.S. send migrants who entered illegally through the southern border back to Mexico to await court dates for asylum proceedings.
It also comes as the administration reallocated projects from the Pentagon to DHS to allow for the agency to plug gaps in Trump's border wall and improve security in more vulnerable areas of the southern border.
Customs and Border Protection data shows that officers encountered more than 1.75 million migrants at the southern border since Biden took office.
Asylum-seeking migrants from Haiti prepare to cross the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves into Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas on Monday
CBP data released this month shows there were 173,620 encounters with migrants at the southern border in November, an uptick from October when crossings finally were on a decline from the massive summer surge
- > Ted Cruz says Republicans will IMPEACH Biden over his... > Pennsylvania GOP Rep writes to Homeland Security secretary... > Immigration enforcement encountered nearly two MILLION... > Trump endorses Hungary's strongman Prime Minister Viktor...
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Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10368315/Pennsylvania-Gov-candidate-Lou-Barletta-shares-photos-secret-flights-migrants.html?EdNo=2002329