Florida Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R) has joined his Republican colleagues to press the Biden administration on immigration concerns. Florida Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) and Carlos Gimenez (R) have joined Rep. Diaz Balart in directing a letter to Alejandro Mayorkas, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, where they urge Biden to implement a system that would help individuals being deported because of repatriations.
In the letter, the GOP members lament that the Biden administration is facilitating an "apparent shift in U.S.-Cuba policy, including the agreement with the Cuban regime to increase repatriations of Cuban nationals to totalitarianism."
Rep. Diaz Balart explained that it's an effort to make sure the Biden administration implements "a system where relatives and legal representatives can find information on their loved ones intercepted at sea."
Mis colegas @RepCarlos, @RepMariaSalazar y yo enviamos una carta a @SecMayorkas solicitando que la Admin implemente un sistema donde familiares y representantes legales puedan encontrar información de sus seres queridos interceptados en el mar. https://t.co/2Wen04zz26
— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) December 2, 2022
With the administration's "increase in repatriations," the lawmakers argue that it has led to the issue, and there is currently "no efficient and timely way for family members or their legal representatives to verify their location and basic details of their cases."
However, the lawmakers note that this can be easily resolved because the issue has already been addressed with ICE through the Online Detainee Locator System (ODLS).
They explained that the system "is a publicly available online system that allows the public to search for persons to determine whether they are detained by ICE and if so, at which facility they are located. By making the information available in this way, family members and legal representatives are able to find basic information without draining crucial resources or manpower from already strained and overworked agencies."
The letter warns that the Biden administration is putting individuals in danger by developing an agreement with the Cuban government to deport nationals and that this issue must be quickly addressed.