Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik led a letter along with Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA), and Congressman Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) demanding answers from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on reports that the federal government is encouraging the use of American airports as temporary shelters for illegal immigrants. 

The letter states: “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed housing 60,000 migrants at four public airports and various other facilities in New York and New Jersey. These airports and their communities rightfully fear being transformed into larger versions of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which has reportedly converted portions of its terminal into a shelter for hundreds of migrants. At a time when the Administration is proposing higher screening requirements on known airline crewmembers due to security risks, we are extremely concerned about the lack of regard for security risks posed by housing thousands of unknown persons at airports, many of which support passenger air service and host sensitive military facilities.”

The letter continues: “Airports are generally required to request permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before using aeronautical land and facilities for nonaeronautical purposes, like the housing of migrants, on an interim basis. These provisions prevent governments, including the Federal Government, from abusing taxpayer investment in aeronautical facilities and commandeering them at below-market rates for nonaeronautical and incompatible purposes. It is your responsibility to direct the FAA to reject any attempt by a Federal, state, or local agency to use airport facilities for such a nonaeronautical and incompatible purpose as housing migrants.”

“I am demanding that Transportation Secretary Buttigieg direct the FAA to immediately stop any attempts to house illegal immigrants at our public airports and other facilities. The Biden Administration instead should focus on working with House Republicans to secure our Northern and Southern Borders,” stated Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “This is not the first time that the Biden Administration and Extreme Democrats have irresponsibly spent taxpayer dollars altering public spaces to deal with the effects of their Far Left open border policies, jeopardizing the safety of our communities. Just this August, I fought against Massena International Airport being converted into a housing site, turning Upstate and North Country into a surrogate ‘Sanctuary City'. American airports are not camps for illegal immigrants and I will continue to do all in my power to fight Joe Biden’s open border policies and keep NY-21 safe.”


Find the full letter HERE.