Local Report Alleges Migrants Are Being Secretly Flown Into Tennessee In Middle Of Night. Republican Lawmakers Want Answers

(Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

Migrant children are allegedly being transported in the dead of night to cities throughout the southeastern U.S., according to a report from local outlet WRCBtv.

WRCBtv has obtained video evidence of planes carrying migrant children landing at Wilson Air Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. One video shows a plane landing at around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, May 14, and another shows children exiting a plane Saturday night. The source who provided the footage for WRCBtv also alleged that a plane carrying migrants landed Friday afternoon.

WRCBtv reported that flight records showed a fourth plane that landed on Wednesday, May 19, in the early morning hours.

Migrant children were also allegedly seen getting into buses owned by a Georgia company called Coast-to-Coast Tours, WRCBtv reported. An employee from the tour company told WRCBtv that the buses were sent to Wilson Air Center as part of a contract with the Department of Defense (DOD).

However, DOD Spokesperson LTC Chris Mitchell told WRCBtv, “The only support DoD is providing with respect to the unaccompanied minors is land and facilities for HHS to temporarily house them.”

“From what I can tell, these were flights facilitated by HHS,” Mitchell added, according to WRCBtv.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) did not respond to WRCBtv for comment. However, the HHS did confirm in April that unaccompanied migrant minors were being housed in Highland Park, a neighborhood in Chattanooga, according to WRCBtv.

This was the first time Coast-to-Coast was dispatched to Chattanooga to pick up migrant children, the employee alleged, adding that the agency has picked up migrant children from Mobile, Alabama, in the past, WRCBtv reported.

“They don’t give us very much information,” the employee said, according to WRCBtv. However, the employee reportedly confirmed that one of the buses was routed to go from Chattanooga to Miami, Florida, while the other was destined for Dallas, Texas. (RELATED: Biden Admin Scrambling To Figure Out How Migrant Children Were Left On Buses Overnight Outside Federal Facility)

The employee also alleged that children are not allowed to get off the bus during the trip, and are accompanied by three to four chaperones that are not employees of Coast-to-Coast, WRCBtv reported. Coast-to-Coast Tours’ policy is that chaperones must be present when “children under the age of 18” are onboard, according to WRCBtv.

An anonymous source with direct knowledge of the migrant transports told WRCBtv that 30 to 50 minors are transported at a time and are allegedly headed to be united with family members or placed in group homes.

Albert Waterhouse, a spokesperson for the Wilson Air Center, told WRCBtv that “Wilson Air Center Chattanooga is a fixed base operator that provides only the necessary operational support, such as fueling and other ground services, to inbound and outbound aircraft.”

Meanwhile, legislators are raising concerns about the program.

Republican Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann said he was made aware of the migrant children after a citizen “raised concerns based on alleged first-hand knowledge.” Fleischmann’s office is now looking into the program for answers.

“As the Ranking Member of the US House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, I continue to seek answers from this Administration on how they plan to deal with the crisis their policies have caused at the border,” Fleischmann said, according to WRCBtv.

“As part of this effort, I will continue to demand that the Administration provide details on how they plan to account for and provide shelter to these migrant children pouring across our border while also ensuring that local communities do not absorb the financial and health costs associated with the Administration’s policies,” he added.

Republican Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty was not aware of the flights prior to WCRBtv’s inquiry, but told the outlet, “It is time for President Biden to be transparent with Tennesseans and the American people regarding where the hundreds of thousands of migrants being resettled in the United States are being sent because they deserve to know.”

Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn also told WRCBtv, “Our office has received no information from the Biden Administration informing us of a mass transportation of migrants to Tennessee.”

“It is absolutely unacceptable if the Biden Administration is facilitating a mass migration without any input or oversight from Tennesseans and the affected communities,” she added.