Top congressional Republicans said Monday that a whistleblower has come forward to report that Homeland Security is catching and releasing previously deported illegal immigrants at the border — a move the lawmakers said is expressly forbidden by U.S. law.
Only about a quarter of those caught by Customs and Border Protection are being turned over to ICE for detention, the congressmen said, and some are being released under “absurd” justifications.
That includes migrants being released because of a “high body mass index,” the lawmakers said, citing the whistleblower.
“The whistleblower said that illegal aliens are literally eating themselves to obesity in order to be released,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Republican congressmen were Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Tom McClintock of California and Matthew Rosendale of Montana.
They also expressed concern over the surging numbers at the border and how illegal immigrants with COVID risks are being handled.
The whistleblower said those testing positive for the coronavirus are supposed to be quarantined by nongovernmental organizations, but that may not always be successful.
“Although the whistleblower could not be sure whether the NGOs properly quarantined the COVID-19-positive aliens, the whistleblower believed that the sheer volume of illegal aliens and the tight timeline for resettlement made proper quarantining impossible,” the lawmakers wrote.
They also had a particular warning for Mr. Mayorkas not to retaliate against the unnamed whistleblower.
They cited a 2015 inspector general’s report, when Mr. Mayorkas was deputy Homeland Security secretary in the Obama administration, and an exceptional number of whistleblowers came forward to dish on his behavior — but most chose to remain anonymous fearing his reprisal.
“We will not tolerate any attempted retaliation against this whistleblower,” the lawmakers said.