BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD, KLFY) – Louisiana’s congressional leaders are demanding answers after groups of immigrants are being dropped off by federal agencies in Louisiana cities, including Shreveport, Baton Rouge and Monroe.
Baton Rouge city leaders tell BRProud they were not given any warning last week about 60 asylum seekers being dropped off at the Greyhound bus station on Florida Boulevard.
“There were volunteers from church groups who were there with food. Initially, it was chaotic. We got through it. Nobody was left behind,” said Margie Perez.
She helped those immigrants with transportation, clothes or a place to stay.
“They’re humans and we should be treating fellow humans no matter what status they are,” said Perez. “We should be treating them humanely.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy addressed the drop-offs on the senate floor Wednesday.
He said, “The current situation is unfair to everyone.”
As to why this is happening, Senator Cassidy is demanding answers and accountability.
“The situation in Shreveport, Monroe and Baton Rouge shows the failed policies. I don’t think they are the only communities dealing with this. We will continue to deal with it even more so until we have a controlled border,” said Cassidy.
Perez said, “Republicans and Democrats need to come together. There’s so much divisiveness in Washington. They are blaming each other. This has been going on for so long. At this point, I just don’t see a solution.”
Congressman Clay Higgins also delivered a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) demanding answers on reports that immigrants are being dropped in communities across Louisiana. Higgins called for an immediate suspension of the resettlement operation.
“I write today to request the immediate termination ofICE’s ‘temporary support plan’ to resettle migrants across the country, which has led to migrants being dropped at bus stops and airports in Louisiana,” wrote Higgins. “This operation lacks transparency, is a complete evasion of responsibility, and compromises the safety of both migrants and Louisianans. If this administration truly cares about the well-being of migrants, the first step is to stop incentivizing lawlessness and dropping migrants off at bus stops and airports with no money or resources to sustain themselves. This is a recipe for disaster.”
In the letter, Congressman Higgins said he requested answers to the following questions:
- What is the process for notifying state and local governments about the arrival of busloads of migrants being dropped into their communities?
- What specific steps is ICE taking to ensure there are no migrants with criminal records being released into our communities, making the area less safe?
- How is ICE tracing migrants to make sure they return for court proceedings?
- What instructions and details are migrants given for their arrival in US cities, where to go, what to do, etc.?
- Is DHS depending on state and local governments to provide for the needs of bussed migrants?
- Are migrants being tested for COVID-19 or COVID-19 antibodies prior to being transported across the United States?
We reached out for comment from ICE officials. We have not gotten a response.