Monday, January 30, 2023
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Senators Want Answers Before ICE Buses Illegal Immigrants to Tennessee



U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) on Tuesday said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers plan to bus an unspecified number of illegal immigrants out of New Orleans and into Tennessee.   

Blackburn and Hagerty said in a letter to ICE agents that they believe the illegal immigrants will remain in Tennessee as they await court proceedings.

“Specifically, we have learned that the New Orleans ICE field office has been working in coordination with the Tennessee Immigration and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), a left-wing immigration advocacy group, to bus these immigrants to Tennessee,” Blackburn and Hagerty said in the letter.

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“We have learned that as many as 50 single-adult, detained illegal immigrants could be bused to Tennessee at a time, with the possibility of multiple busloads each week. Further, these individuals would be released into Tennessee while they await court proceedings. Given the previous instances of ICE busing immigrants to Tennessee without notice, we are very troubled by these new reports and request that you provide more information about this situation.”

The TIRRC, according to its website, is a Nashville-based immigrant rights group.

ICE agents told FOX News in a written statement on Wednesday that, “at this time,” they have not transported noncitizens for release to Tennessee.

“However, the agency is in communication with the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) community in Nashville that has volunteered to assist with noncitizens to maybe transport them to the Nashville area,” ICE agents said.

FOX News host Brian Kilmeade asked Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee about the matter on Wednesday.

Lee said he was consulting with Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti.

Kilmeade then asked Lee if he would send those illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did in a similar predicament in September.

“We are looking at any option,” Lee said, without elaborating.

Blackburn and Hagerty, in their letter to ICE, demanded that the agency answer the following questions before Dec. 27:

• When do you anticipate that ICE will begin busing these illegal immigrants to Tennessee? Where in Tennessee do you expect to drop off these individuals?

• Can you confirm that as many as 50 illegal immigrants could be bused to Tennessee at a time, with the possibility of multiple busloads per week?

• Will these illegal immigrants have undergone any vetting procedures prior to being released into Tennessee? If so, please provide specific details about these procedures and the kind of background information you have obtained.

• Has the Department of Homeland Security properly filed Notices to Appear for each of these illegal immigrants? If not, does the Department intend to do so? If not, why not?

• Can you guarantee that none of these individuals being transported to Tennessee are convicted criminals or are on the Terrorist Screening Dataset?

• When did the New Orleans ICE field office begin coordination with TIRRC about transporting these illegal immigrants to Tennessee?

In 2019 the TIRRC released a manifesto and demanded that Nashville taxpayers subsidize new programs to protect illegal immigrants from deportation.

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This document, titled, Beyond Welcoming: A Platform for Immigrant Inclusion for the Next Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County, also disparaged ICE agents as persecutors who set out to destroy immigrant families.

You can download the full document here.

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