VAN DREW LEADS 28 COLLEAGUES IN LETTER DEMANDING ANSWERS FROM SECRETARY MAYORKAS ON DEPLOYMENT OF AIR MARSHALS TO OUR BORDER, LEAVING SKIES UNPROTECTED
December 26, 2022 — Congressman Van Drew (R-NJ), member of the Homeland Security Committee, led 28 of his Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding answers as to why highly skilled federal air marshals (FAM) are being stripped from our skies to perform non-law enforcement work at our border.
“At one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, Secretary Mayorkas should not be leaving our skies unprotected in order for trained FAMs to perform wellness checks and provide transportation services for illegal immigrants at our southern border,” said Congressman Van Drew. “Because of this administration’s continued failures in handling the crisis at the border, Secretary Mayorkas is now attempting to implement a band-aid type of solution by forcing air marshals to perform administrative duties. We should be hiring additional border patrol agents, we should be finishing the border wall, and we should not be incentivizing illegal immigration by providing free food, housing, and transport at the expense of the American taxpayer. Thousands of illegal immigrants are pouring into the country daily, individuals on the terrorist watch-list are attempting to cross our border, and thousands of pounds of deadly fentanyl is being smuggled across our border, putting Americans’ safety and well-being at risk.”
‘Federal Air Marshals should focus on identifying and investigating criminal activity in the transportation domain, gathering and refining intelligence, and serving as the last line of defense on high-risk flights. FAMs should not be taken away from their core antiterrorism duties to guard illegal migrants at the southern border.’ – John Casaretti, Air Marshal Association President
Click here to read the full letter.
Click here to watch Congressman Van Drew question Secretary Mayorkas on the issue in the Homeland Security Committee.
In this letter, the lawmakers expressed their adamant opposition to federal air marshals being forced to assist with non-law enforcement duties at our southern border because of the Biden administration’s failures and mismanagement of the crisis. The lawmakers also demanded answers to the following questions:
- There are reports that FAMs managers who have also been sent to the border are not performing any tasks outlined in the MOU. What functions are FAM managers performing at the border?
- With FAMs numbers are their lowest point since 2005, and with more retirements expected over the next two months, how did the TSA arrive at the number of FAMs available for border deployment?
- The Air Marshal Association has been warning about workforce attrition since 2018. Does DHS plan to replenish FAMs numbers? What is the Department’s target number of FAMs?
Does DHS have an anticipated end date for the FAMs deployment to the Southwest Border? If so, what is that date?