Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Letter to Governor Patrick Regarding Flights with Immigration Detainees Arriving at Massachusetts Airports

His Excellency Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
State House, Room 105
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Governor Patrick:

On behalf of the Republican Caucus, I write you today as the result of numerous media reports surrounding the Commonwealth’s involvement with the federal government in the transportation of illegal immigrants to two aviation facilities within Massachusetts – Hanscom Air Force Base and Logan International Airport.

As reported over the past few weeks, and confirmed by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, flights with immigration detainees are arriving at airports within Massachusetts and the individuals aboard are then being transferred to Department of Homeland Security facilities. This raises numerous red flags, and it is imperative that basic questions regarding this ongoing practice be answered. When we are able to provide the residents and taxpayers of the Commonwealth with responses to the following questions, we as lawmakers will be better suited to determine how best to proceed.

• To what extent, if any, did your administration have prior knowledge of the practice of immigration detainees being flown to Massachusetts and then transferred to Department of Homeland Security facilities?

• For how long has the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement been arranging the transfer of detainees to Massachusetts?

• What information, if any, does your administration have on the parameters of the program and the potential impacts it may have on the cost and delivery of services through the myriad of programs that comprise the Commonwealth’s safety net?

• Does the Commonwealth have any oversight of this ongoing practice?

• What, if any, state resources are being utilized to support this program, and if any, at what cost to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth?

• After being transferred to Department of Homeland Security facilities, are the immigration detainees remanded to the custody of the federal government, or are they released pending their deportation hearing?

I would be happy to meet with you to discuss this issue in greater detail, and I look forward to your timely attention to this extremely pressing issue.


Bradley H. Jones, Jr.
House Minority Leader