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A source has told The Iowa Standard that 13 children deplaned the chartered flight from Long Beach to Des Moines on April 22. Initial reports from Long Beach Local News indicated almost 100 unaccompanied migrant minors boarded the flight, but nobody knew how many, if any, exited the plane in Des Moines.
Local government in Long Beach denied knowing anything about the flight. Iowa officials have also denied any knowledge.
Three charter buses arrived on the tarmac in Des Moines shortly after the plane arrived. According to records, the flight was a government/ICE chartered flight, but a source from ICE reached out to The Iowa Standard again on Thursday morning and denied ICE involvement. They are continuing to work on finding out what happened.
The original paperwork on the flight doesn’t list any passengers deplaning in Des Moines and said 30 passengers boarded from Des Moines. However, a source told The Iowa Standard that 13 passengers exited the aircraft in Des Moines and zero boarded.
The flight history for the aircraft is:
April 22: Long Beach to Des Moines
April 22: Des Moines to Atlanta (arrived at 1:35 a.m. on April 23)
April 23: Atlanta to Miami (arrived in Miami at 4:05 a.m.)
April 23: Miami to Houston (arrived in Houston at 6:11 p.m.)
April 24: Houston to McAllen
April 24: McAllen to El Paso
April 24: El Paso to McAllen
April 24: McAllen to El Paso
April 25: El Paso to Miami
April 27: Miami to Houston
April 27: Houston to McAllen
April 27: McAllen to El Paso (diverted back to McAllen)
April 27: McAllen to El Paso
April 27: El Paso to Phoenix
April 27: Phoenix to Long Beach
April 28: Long Beach to McAllen
April 28: McAllen to Phoenix
April 28: Phoenix to Long Beach
April 30: Long Beach to Miami
May 2: Miami to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
May 2: Punta Cana to Miami
May 5: Miami to McAllen (diverted back to Miami)
McAllen, Texas has been at the center of the immigration crisis. The Wall Street Journal published a story in March that said:
“Parents with young children have been crossing into the U.S. from Mexico by the thousands each day, straining government resources and the patience of some local residents and officials in Rio Grande Valley towns like McAllen.”
“Border Patrol facilities are so overcrowded that, in recent days, agents have started temporarily holding hundreds of families under a bridge near McAllen, where migrants detained overnight are sleeping on the dirt.”
Again, this is a very fluid situation and a developing story. We’ll update our readers when an update becomes available.