Guest: Mississippi should know when illegal aliens are brought here

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, April 7, 2022

Congressman Michael Guest, the vice ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, introduced an Early Migration Alert Program (E-MAP) Act to require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to notify local law enforcement agencies and local government authorities of an impending release of migrants into their jurisdictions.

The legislation was introduced days after the Biden administration announced its plans to terminate Title 42, which many officials warn will significantly increase the already record-setting number of migrant encounters on the southern border.

“Currently, there is no requirement for ICE or CBP to alert local police officers or social services agencies of a potential influx of migrants into their communities,” Guest said. “When migrants are released without warning, the lack of communication can overwhelm law enforcement agents and public services and create desperate situations for migrants who find themselves in an unknown town with no direction.

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“As we prepare for another surge of migrants on the border, an alert system like the one E-MAP would establish is imperative. The Biden administration cannot be allowed to continue dropping off migrants in towns across America at all times of the day and night without notice.

“By rolling back common-sense border security policies, the Biden administration has created the worst border crisis in our nation’s history resulting in more than 2 million migrant encounters so far,” said ranking member John Katko. “It’s no secret that the administration has been releasing illegal migrants into towns across the country. Local communities and law enforcement are completely caught off guard and overwhelmed by the release of migrants who are left wandering the streets in a country they have never set foot in before.

“To make matters worse, most often there is no communication between ICE, CBP and local officials prior to the release of migrants into our communities. I commend … Guest for his leadership and I’m proud to cosponsor this commonsense solution to ensure communities aren’t crushed under the strain of the Biden administration’s reckless policies.”

Already this fiscal year, there have been record-breaking monthly encounters that are expected to continue at an overwhelming pace. Last year, encounters at the southern border peaked at a startling 213,539 encounters in July— a 21-year high and 420 percent increase compared to July 2020.

During last year’s immigration surge, migrants dropped off at bus stations inundated local communities and put a significant burden on public resources. Current encounters at the border are already outpacing last year’s record-setting monthly numbers.

“Every state is a border state,” Guest continued. “The strain of the border crisis is felt across America in local towns and cities that are often unprepared for an influx of migrants in their communities.

“We have felt it in my district in Mississippi, and I’ve talked to lawmakers across the country who have seen the same problems. We cannot allow that to continue. This legislation would establish better communication channels between local and federal officials so communities across our nation know who is coming and when they will arrive.”

The E-MAP Act would require ICE and CBP to create an email subscription system to alert state, local, tribal, and territorial municipalities and provide information regarding the impending release of migrants into local communities, including the following:

  • Number of migrants to be released
  • Number of migrants with known criminal histories
  • Initial destination of the migrants
  • Final destinations and where they intend to settle

The legislation would require ICE and CBP to give municipalities at least a 24-hour notice before releasing an alien into the United States.

The E-MAP Act is endorsed by the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) and the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA).

“The MCCA appreciates Rep. Guest for introducing the E-MAP Act,” said Jeri Williams, president of MCCA and chief of the Phoenix Police Department. “Robust federal and local information sharing plays an important role in keeping our communities safe. The E-MAP Act will help promote this collaboration by requiring DHS to provide local authorities with advance notice before releasing migrants into their jurisdictions. This will allow local officials, including law enforcement, to conduct planning, ensure the necessary services are available, and address any threats to public safety.”

Joining Congressman Guest as original cosponsors on the bill were Republican members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, including Ranking Member John Katko (R-NY); Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA); Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (R-NJ); Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC); Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA); Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN); Rep. Carlos Giminez (R-FL); Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-KS); Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI); Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL); Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX); Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY).