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Lankford Stops Biden from Releasing Migrants in Oklahoma

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) successfully blocked President Biden’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office from opening a “surge overflow temporary facility” at the Great Plains Correctional Institution in Hinton, Oklahoma, that would have been used to process migrants who crossed the border illegally and release them into Western Oklahoma. Twenty-four hours after Lankford spoke on the Senate floor and contacted Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leadership directly with his strong objection, DHS announced they would not transfer people illegally crossing into the United States to Hinton for release.

“Late this week, we learned ICE was looking at a facility in Hinton to open a so-called surge overflow temporary facility to move people from the border, process them in western Oklahoma, and then release them out of that facility on their own recognizance,” said Lankford. “Oklahomans are rightly concerned with what we have seen at the border over the last seven months. We do not want an ICE facility in our state that is designed to process and release undocumented individuals. President Biden should spend more time focusing on how to stop the record number of illegal crossings from all over the world, rather than developing new places to release people after they illegally cross into our nation. Today, we were successful at stopping that from happening. Now, let’s secure our border, finish the wall, and enforce our laws at the border.”  

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released the preliminary border crossing numbers for July, which included an astounding 20-year-high total encounters of over 210,000. CBP seized 508 pounds of fentanyl in June, which was up 12 percent from May. Additionally, the June update revealed that 95,079 unaccompanied children were found at the border this fiscal year.

Lankford recently released his bombshell report that found $2 billion in wasted taxpayer money to pay construction workers for the now-halted border wall contracts to babysit the steel on the ground while the Administration “studies” the wall, which was originally set as a 60-day study but is now past 200 days.

Lankford held a press conference with Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado to discuss Lankford’s report of $2 billion in wasted taxpayer money, the ongoing national security threat at our southern border, including the latest June report from CBP about apprehensions at the border, and the Biden Administration “handcuffing” border law enforcement personnel from enforcing the law despite 20-year-high numbers of crossings.

Excerpt from video 

As recently as today, I learned that ICE is currently looking at a facility in western Oklahoma to do what they are calling a surge overflow temporary facility. That surge overflow temporary facility they are looking to open in western Oklahoma to move people from the border, process them in western Oklahoma, and then release them from western Oklahoma. It is not an unfair question for me to ask, what is this facility? What is its purpose? And will individuals that are not legally present in the country be released in western Oklahoma?

This is the same question that’s been asked by mayors and leaders in Arizona that have had a facility like this in Arizona where processing was done there and then they were released from there and mayors and individuals there have asked the question why are individuals that are not legally present in the country being brought from the border to my town and then released in my town? It’s not unfair for me to be able to ask that as well. I have already had that conversation with the secretary of DHS. I do not have an answer.