A Washington Post article, citing two Department of Homeland Security officials and an email, says the Biden administration is considering flying migrants who crossed the South Texas border to states near the Canadian border for processing — an idea that drew criticism from two members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation, and now, the governor.
On Tuesday, Gov. Doug Burgum said he sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, stating his opposition to the possibility of migrants being flown to the state for processing.
Below is Burgum’s letter to Secretary Mayorkas:
“As a northern border state, we have seen unsettling media reports that North Dakota is being considered by Department of Homeland Security officials as a site for the relocation of migrants detained at the south Texas border. Our latest communication from the White House, received Monday, March 22, stated that ‘CBP continually evaluates possible contingency plans and adjusts its operations as circumstances dictate, but currently there are no plans to transfer migrants from the Southwest border to the Northern or Coastal borders. We will be sure to work with DHS to reach out if the situation changes.’
To be clear, our administration does not support the transfer to North Dakota of migrants who have entered the United States without permission. While our state willingly participates in the resettlement of legal, thoroughly vetted refugees, we strongly oppose any efforts to alleviate the southern border crisis of the overwhelming influx of migrants by transporting them to northern border states such as North Dakota. This crisis is the product and responsibility of the Biden administration, and shifting the problem and public safety costs to North Dakota and other northern border states would place our communities at risk while doing nothing to address the root causes of the ongoing crisis at the southern border. We urge the administration to address this crisis at the source, fully enforce federal immigration laws, and reassure northern border states that relocation is not on the table.”
In a press release, Burgum said North Dakota’s homeland security director requested a detailed briefing from DHS on the matter.
Sen. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong also voiced their criticism of the matter on Monday, both saying they oppose the idea and want the Biden administration to withdraw it.
The Washington Post‘s article also said the email they reviewed says U.S. Customs and Border Protection hasn’t determined which northern states could receive the flights, if it were to happen.