‘Where Do We Put Them?’: Biden Seeks to Use Airports as Shelter for Migrants
Since President Joe Biden has been in office, over 10 million illegal immigrants have entered the U.S. through wide open borders. Yet, short of closing it, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Biden has done “everything that he can” to secure the border. And Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, when asked repeatedly if what’s occurring at the border is a crisis, refused to say it is so. Additionally, Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) asked Mayorkas, “So the situation at the border, you’re saying, is not a disaster?” To which he responded, “That is correct.”
However, for something he won’t classify as a crisis, or even a disaster, it appears to be taking a toll on America. There are growing reports of fentanyl drug abuse and deaths, and amid the war in Israel, there’s now a significant increase in the risk of terrorist attacks within the nation. For something that isn’t a crisis, it doesn’t seem to explain why Biden is looking to use airports across the U.S. as migrant camps leading up to the busiest travel time of the year. After the horrendous terrorist attack of 9/11, airports were heightened with security, and yet, Biden wants to use them to house illegal immigrants — many of whom have proven to be dangerous.
This prospect is not entirely hypothetical, though, as the Chicago O’Hare airport has already allowed over 400 illegal immigrants to camp out in terminals. Ironically, this took place shortly after former Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot received numerous complaints and said that homeless Americans were no longer allowed to take shelter in the airport. As Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote, “So homeless Americans get thrown into the streets while people who broke into our country illegally are taken care of.”
In response to Biden’s airport proposal, as many as 70 House Republicans have expressed their concern, writing, “We adamantly oppose these ill-conceived plans that blatantly ignore the true crisis at hand and would inappropriately utilize America’s infrastructure.” They emphasized, “Our nation’s airport infrastructure was built to facilitate commerce and transportation, not to serve as housing for unvetted and undocumented migrants.”
O’Hare already faced the harsh reality that airports weren’t designed to be a refuge center for the needy. As Nolte pointed out, true shelters need toilets and showers. “Then there’s laundry and food,” he wrote. “Then there’s the pressure of feeding them. Do the math: three meals a day for 400 people totals 1,200 meals a day — 8,400 a week.” And that’s just one airport. House Republicans, in addition to their disapproval, wrote a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, asking him to disclose how many airports currently house illegal immigrants.
Carlos Duran, president of the National Hispanic Pastors Alliance, told The Washington Stand that despite what Mayorkas said, “This is a crisis.” The fact of the matter is, he stated, “Our citizens are not equipped to host all these people at once.” But Duran emphasized, while this is a problem and the local level is severely affected, it is inherently an issue rooted in government.
For Duran, “Securing the border is a [deceptive] term” because it’s easy to say it needs to be done, but evidently, after approximately 30 years of wrestling with this issue, it’s not as easy to put into action. “You can’t secure the border unless you reform the immigration system,” he said. “The immigration system is broken,” and it plays a large role in the numerous undocumented immigrants in the U.S., even before it spiraled out of control under the Biden administration.
Considering Biden’s latest idea to use airports as shelters, Duran said plainly, “It is a bad idea. Of course, it’s a bad idea.” But returning to a previous point, he emphasized, “Hosting them in the airports is the wrong thing to do, but then again, where do we take them?” He concluded, “It’s a huge problem, … and we need to start by fixing it on a federal level.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.