Two more chartered airplanes originating in El Paso, Texas landed at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport on Christmas night, adding to the evidence that illegal immigrants are being flown to Northeast Pennsylvania without citizens’ knowledge. The two flights originated in El Paso, stopped in Cincinnati, and landed in Pennsylvania at 6:48 p.m. and 8:47 p.m. on December 25, according to FlightAware.com. The air carrier was World Atlantic Airlines, which contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to transport illegal immigrants. Former mayor and congressman Lou Barletta, a former member of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, demanded answers from Gov. Tom Wolf and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro in a letter last week, after a similar flight took place on December 17. “I asked Gov. Wolf and Attorney General Shapiro a series of straightforward questions about these flights, and they haven’t provided any answers,” Barletta said. “Now we see evidence of more flights on Christmas night, and people want to know if illegal immigrants are being transported to our community, whether they’ve undergone background checks and health screenings, and why no one was notified that this was happening.”
FlightAware.com records of charter flights from ELP-CVG-AVP
Witnesses at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport took photographs of one of the planes being met by a charter bus for ground transportation.
World Atlantic Airlines plane and charter bus at AVP on Christmas night
The Christmas night flights follow another plane on December 17, this one operated by iAero Airways, also known to contract with ICE for flights of illegal immigrants. In Barletta’s letter to Wolf and Shapiro on December 23, he noted that such flights would be “in line with the established policy of the Biden administration to transport illegal immigrants from the border to other locations within the country. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has confirmed the existence of such flights to other states, and only quibbled about the time of day they were occurring.” At the time, Barletta asked them, in their capacities as the chief executive of the Commonwealth and the chief law enforcement official of the Commonwealth, a series of pointed questions:
Was there indeed a flight from El Paso to Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport on December 17, 2021 for the purpose of transporting illegal immigrants?
Were you aware of this flight?
If so, what was your reasoning for permitting it to land?
If you permitted the flight to land, why were the citizens of Pennsylvania not informed
How were criminal background checks conducted on the passengers?
How did you determine the passengers’ COVID-19 or vaccination status?
How many passengers were on board and where are they now?
Will there be more such flights in the future?
If you were not aware of the flight, will you commit to an investigation to determine how this was allowed to occur without your knowledge?
“Wolf and Shapiro have yet to provide any answers to the people of Pennsylvania about that first flight, and now that two more came in on Christmas night, the calls for transparency are even louder,” Barletta said. “I am reiterating my demand that they come clean with the citizens and be honest about what they’re doing.”