>>Gov Reynolds Wants Congressional Probe of Flight Carrying Migrant Children to Iowa
IOWA - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in asking for an investigation into a plane flight that brought migrant children to Des Moines.
The unannounced flight brought 19 children, who were then transported to various cities and states to unite with sponsors.
Reynolds has asked Senator Chuck Grassley for a Senate hearing, and has been backed up by Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne, who called the episode unacceptable.
The state Democratic Party says Reynolds was using a fake crisis while the state Republican Party says Democrats were trying to avoid the border crisis.
A letter from Governor Reynolds office to Senator Grassley outlined a chronology of events in which the governor says she wasn't informed about the airplane flight for almost 10 days.
According to the chronology, the federal office of Health and Human Services denied knowledge of the flight, but later confirmed the Office of Refugee Resettlement had arranged the flight and ground transportation for the children.
Reynolds was joined in the letter to Senator Grassley by Tennessee Governor after a similar airplane flight brought migrant children to Tennessee.
Read the letter to Senator Grassley here.
A portion of Congresswoman Axne's statement reads as follows "I join Governor Reynolds in demanding further investigation and disclosure from HHS to determine why this flight was kept secret and why its existence was denied to both the public and to the public officials seeking to learn the whole truth.”
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn sent out this statement: “Governor Reynolds does not care about the well-being of migrant children brought into Iowa, she said so herself back in April. She’s only focused on dividing and distracting Iowans from her own record and using a fake crisis to further attacks on our friends and neighbors. Iowa Democrats want to solve the real problems within our own state borders, not play partisan politics that only seek to divide us further.”
The Iowa Republican Party responded with This statement:“Wilburn and Iowa Democrats are following the Biden Administration’s playbook of putting their heads in the sand and hoping it all goes away. The crisis at our Southern border is real, no matter what alternative facts Iowa Democrats would like to believe.”
Read the chronology of events as outlined by Governor Reynolds office below:
- On May 2, the State of Iowa became aware of an April 22 flight of unaccompanied minor children landing overnight at the Des Moines International Airport.
- On May 6, the State of Iowa reached out to both DHS and HHS after reviewing surveillance footage showing what appeared to be a plane.
- On May 7, and May 10, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) told State of Iowa officials that it was not an HHS flight.
- On May 10 – and again in writing on May 11 – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told the State of Iowa that it was not a DHS ICE flight.
- On May 14, Governor Reynolds reached out to Senator Grassley’s office.
- On May 17, ICE told Senator Grassley’s staff it was not involved in the flight.
- On May 21, HHS ORR confirmed to Senator Grassley’s office that it was an ORR flight and ORR ground transportation. According to HHS, 19 children were flown from Long Beach, CA, to Des Moines, IA, for unification with their sponsors. Two buses were used to transport the children from the airport to various locations to be unified with their sponsors.
(Image from Iowa Standard)