Biden Admin Stonewalls Congress on Security Screening of Illegal Immigrant Minors, GOP Lawmaker Says

Admin will not answer questions on thousands of undocumented minors relocated across the country

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December 13, 2021

Nearly two months after a member of the House Homeland Security Committee launched a formal probe into the Biden administration’s decision to relocate nearly 3,000 undocumented minors to New York, the White House has not provided Congress with security vetting information or the status of coronavirus tests for those illegal immigrants, according to the congressman.

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R., N.Y.), who oversees the Department of Homeland Security as a member of the House committee, late last week accused the Biden administration of stonewalling Congress on the information.

"Almost two months have passed, and I have yet to receive a response from your administration," Garbarino, who first petitioned the Biden administration in October for answers about its relocation program, wrote in a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "I remain troubled by the potential security and health risks that these migrants pose to Americans in my district." The lawmaker said the Biden administration is withholding "information about who these people are, what their security vetting and COVID-19 screening status is, and how local resources will be impacted."

The letter was sent just days after a brawl at the MercyFirst group home in Syosset, N.Y., where illegal immigrants are housed, in which two police officers were injured. The incident reignited concerns over the lack of security screening implemented by the administration when it decided to relocate the immigrant children. When news of the relocation effort first broke, Republicans in Congress accused the Biden administration of endangering communities by sending undocumented and unscreened illegal immigrants into them.

"One officer suffered a concussion and the other had a broken hand," Garbarino wrote of the incident. "This assault on law enforcement is absolutely disgraceful and should not be tolerated. I am determined to obtain additional information about the perpetrators of this attack, and I intend to introduce legislation to ensure assault of a law enforcement officer is considered a deportable offense."

Garbarino first petitioned the Biden administration for answers about its illegal immigrant relocation program in October. He called on officials to turn over documents related to the secret transport of illegal minors to several locations in New York. More than 2,600 illegal minors were flown into the state amid a massive surge in migrants along the U.S. southern border that has strained federal law enforcement. The New York Post reported in October that "planeloads of underage migrants are being flown secretly into suburban New York in an effort by President Biden’s administration to quietly resettle them across the region."

In addition to documents related to the relocation effort, Garbarino is ordering the Biden administration to brief Congress about how it plans to combat growing public safety issues that have arisen from the influx of illegal immigrants into Long Island and other New York communities.

Garbarino said the assault last week on police represents "the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the negative ramifications of your irresponsible border policies."

The White House’s decision to roll back many of the former Trump administration’s tough border restrictions has sparked an increase in gang violence, particularly among MS-13, an international criminal organization prevalent in Latin America, according to Garbarino.

The lawmaker said it is unacceptable for the Biden administration to enact these policies without informing Congress or providing the proper oversight committees with documentation.

"I am once again demanding transparency from your administration about the placement of migrants in New York and across our country," the lawmaker wrote. "Your administration is fueling the current crisis by placing vulnerable children in these situations without a plan and without transparency to state and local stakeholders."