Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., is calling for answers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after reports that hundreds of migrants are being housed in hotels in states like Arizona.
“I am appalled that illegal aliens are being housed in American hotels. Illegal aliens should be held in [ICE] detention facilities, not hotels,” Biggs said in a letter to ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson.
The Washington Examiner first reported that ICE has taken over seven hotels, including Chandler, Arizona to place migrant families being released from Border Patrol custody. It isn’t clear if those families will be removed, or allowed into the U.S.
The Examiner reported that 600 people were being placed in hotels in El Paso, Texas and Chandler. A further 600 beds will be made available in Pecos, Texas, and Phoenix, Ariz. and Cotulla, Texas in the coming weeks.
Fox previously reported that the Biden administration has awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract for hotel rooms near the border to provide temporary shelter and processing services for families who have not been expelled from the United States but have been placed in immigration proceedings for their removal.
Biggs blamed Democrats in Congress for the situation at the border, which has seen migrant families released into the interior and packed migrant facilities amid a dramatic spike in numbers.
“Unfortunately, instead of providing ICE with the resources necessary to detain aliens as required by law, Democrats in Congress have repeatedly fought to limit funding for ICE detention beds and have even called for abolishing ICE completely,” he said. “They do not want our immigration laws enforced, and know that if aliens are not detained, they will most likely never be removed — which is their ultimate goal.”
Biggs asks how many empty beds are available in ICE detention facilities, how much is being spent to house migrants, how many are being housed, and if they are being given background checks.
He also asks if they are being COVID-tested, if they are being released, and how long they are staying in the hotels.