Astorino: 'Secret flights' carrying undocumented children on the increase
Local leaders are crying foul again over so-called secret flights shuttling migrant children into the Hudson Valley.
Republican candidate for New York governor Rob Astorino and candidate for Westchester County Executive Christine Sculti released a new video Monday they say shows unaccompanied children and young adults on buses being dropped off in front of Costco in Port Chester after they were flown into Westchester County Airport in Harrison.
Astorino says thousands of underage migrants are coming in on secret flights from Texas and that it's happening every other night at the airport since at least August.
He was alerted to it after residents complained of hearing 737s flying overhead in the middle of the night.
"They are taken to other side of the airport, where no one can see them. They're not going to terminal - there's a reason for that. The public is not allowed to understand or know what's happening in their own backyards," said Astorino.
Westchester County Communications Director Catherine Cioffi, who represents County Executive George Latimer, told News 12 in a statement that, "This is a situation of desperate campaigns trying to get attention for themselves" and that they addressed the issues thoroughly in August.
She also said, "The situation at the airport is nothing new that the federal government flies unaccompanied children through airports all over the country to be unified with their parents or sponsor."
Astorino and Sculti are demanding answers from the county executive about where the migrants are going after they land and why it is happening in the middle of the night.
Astorino says he got word that the young adults are going to Children's Village in Dobbs Ferry and Lincoln Hall in Somers, among other places around Westchester, Long Island and New York City.
The federal Department of Homeland Security confirms the flights are legal and are reuniting the minors to their parents or sponsors after getting separated while illegally crossing the border.
The county executive's office also says they have been told by the federal government that the children are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 if age-eligible, and if not, they've been tested for COVID-19.