'We need answers': Cassidy, Graves voice concerns over immigration and border
U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves both questioned the drop-off of migrants in Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and Monroe by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Cassidy said in a news release it was done "with little to no notice to state and local officials.
“This situation in Shreveport, Monroe, and Baton Rouge shows the degree of failure of their policies. It’s hard to believe they are the only communities dealing with this,” said Cassidy, who is a medical doctor. “It’s unfair to every single person involved – the community, our country, the immigrants. We need answers. We need accountability. And we need sound immigration and border policies.”
In a speech on the senate floor, Cassidy said he has been told individuals from 63 different countries have arrived at the border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered almost 190,000 people coming to the United States illegally through the southern border last month, according to Cassidy.
"By any definition, this is a crisis. For the individual, who is at risk of dying of dehydration in the desert, for our country, which cannot control the border crisis, for the infection of the COVID/coronavirus situation in our country, because obviously coronavirus could be rampant among these folks," Cassidy said.
KTBS, a Shreveport news channel, reported that ICE dropped off about 80 Haitian immigrants, according to the speech. Local television stations WBRZ and WAFB in Baton Rouge had similar photos and video, as did outlets in Monroe and Natchez, Miss.
Cassidy said the acting director of ICE called the drop-offs "common practice."
He questioned the Biden-Harris administration's actions.
"Do they care about communities? Do they care about these immigrants? It’s almost as if they are wishing that the issue be swept under the rug," Cassidy said.
He called the situation unfair to the migrants, the communities, and the country.
"The situation in Shreveport, Monroe, and Baton Rouge shows the failure of the policies," he said. "I don't think they are the only communities dealing with this. And we will continue to deal with it even more so until we have a controlled border.
Graves shared similar concerns in a news release.
"This approach is not only disorganized and illogical, but it also blatantly disregards the well-being and safety of these individuals and the communities they are being bussed to," Graves stated.
He went on to point out the possibility of migrants having a violent criminal record. They also could be carrying COVID-19.
"What started as a crisis at our borders has turned into a crisis in our communities," Graves said.