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Although Tennessee is far away from the United States-Mexico border, they’re getting ready to face the impacts of the border crisis.
Republican Gov. Bill Lee said on Tuesday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is the federal government, is planning to “release single adult detainees” into the state. These are individuals who are currently staying in ICE centers in New Orleans, and will reportedly be bussed in, according to News Channel 5 Nashville.
“We’ve been informed by ICE that they plan to release single adult detainees into Tennessee while they await court proceedings,” Lee said in a statement to Fox News.
“This is irresponsible and a threat to the safety of Tennesseans,” he added.
The report from Fox News mentioned that ICE would be working with groups to assist the people being brought in, and other state leaders quickly voiced their concerns about the decision.
“Late last night, we learned of the President’s plan to bus ICE detainees to Tennessee. Tennesseans should not be forced to bear the burden of the federal government’s ongoing failure to secure the border. The Attorney General’s Office joins Governor Lee and our federal delegation in demanding the administration abandon their plan to release detainees into our state,” Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement.
While Skrmetti did mention how his priority is the safety of residents, Sen. Marsha Blackburn also noted how this shows the far-reaching impact of the Biden administration’s mishandling of immigration and security at the border.
“President Biden’s failed immigration policies have turned every town into a border town,” Blackburn tweeted.
We have just learned that ICE plans to release adult illegal immigrants into TN while they await court proceedings.⁰
President Biden’s failed immigration policies have turned every town into a border town.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) December 20, 2022
She also said on Wednesday morning that there needs to be more information about who these individuals are:
.@ICEGov can respond to media requests about trafficking migrants to Tennessee, but won’t get back to us with information about who they are dropping off in our state.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) December 21, 2022
Although the left may try to argue that Republican leaders are trying to stoke fear, they are sorely mistaken. Republicans and a handful of Democrats have criticized President Joe Biden’s handling of the situation for nearly two years, and the fact that these people are coming to Tennessee as opposed to either being deported or quickly processed shows failures on the federal government’s behalf. It’s never been more obvious that the border needs to be secured by both physical, technological, and bureaucratic means, and the incoming House Republican majority has a responsibility to push for swift action when they take control in January.
It is also a matter of resources, and most places are not well equipped to handle these random influxes of people. Many of the left disagreed with the transport of migrants to cities like New York and Washington D.C., but it quickly became clear that even major cities struggled with this, let alone small towns in the American Southwest. The truth is that there’s no amount of resources that can fully make up for solid deterrents before somebody illegally crosses the border.
Even Democratic New York Mayor Eric Adams is asking for the federal government to step in as Title 42 is slated to end soon:
“This can’t continue. With the expiration of Title 42 just days away, we need the federal government — both in the administration and in Congress — to share their plans to move asylum seekers to other cities, to allow asylum seekers to work, and to send aid to the cities that have borne the brunt of this crisis,” Adams said in a statement on Sunday.
This is ultimately a battle over logistics, and the Biden administration is facing a new level of scrutiny as the fate of Title 42 is being battled out in court. Whether it’s a humanitarian crisis in Del Rio, Texas, fentanyl in New Hampshire, or drop-offs in Tennessee, it’s clear that the United States interior is not free from the consequences of horrible border policy.