Senators Want Answers on Which Sanctuary Cities Draw Illegal Immigrants after DHS Catch & Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With illegal border crossings reaching unprecedented levels, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) joined colleagues in asking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for detailed information on the effect sanctuary cities have on drawing illegal immigrants.

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, signed a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that requests data on which cities illegal immigrants list as their “current address.”  By law, illegal immigrants allowed into the country are required to provide an address in order to be contacted regarding immigration proceedings.

“We are concerned that the Biden administration’s border crisis is being made worse because of states and communities who adopt or perpetuate sanctuary policies.  To better understand the impact of sanctuary policies on illegal immigration, we request additional information about where illegal immigrants are choosing to go once they receive a Notice to Appear (NTA),” the Senators wrote.

“We are deeply concerned that sanctuary jurisdictions are serving as a pull factor for illegal immigrants and for criminal aliens.  This failure to comply with federal law creates an incentive for illegal immigrants to travel to the United States and avoid accountability by moving to sanctuary jurisdictions,” the Senators wrote. 

The Senators argue sanctuary cities threaten public safety by preventing law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal immigration officials to enforce detainer orders for dangerous, violent criminal aliens.

Among other information, the Senators ask Mayorkas to respond by Oct. 21 with the number of times each city or municipality has been listed as the “current address” for illegal immigrants who were issued an NTA during FY2021 and FY2022, as well as DHS efforts to ensure that illegal immigrants do in fact travel to the address listed on their NTA.

A DHS Office of Inspector General report showed that the Custom and Border Patrol (CPB) did not record addresses for illegal immigrants 35 percent of the time between March and June 2021.  The Senators also asked for the current rate at which CBP is recording addresses.

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) led the letter, which was also signed by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Read the letter to Mayorkas here.