After months of delay, the Department of Homeland Security replied late last month to a Congressional demand for information about the number of illegal migrants the department has flown from border towns to communities around the country. In 2021, it said, 71,617 were dropped off in nearly 20 cities including locales as far from the Mexican border as Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.

“The Biden administration is running a clandestine, covert, middle-of-the-night, special ops mission using the same tradecraft the military does in operations against foreign enemies,” said Larry Keefe, a senior policy adviser to Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. “We don’t know what’s going on because the states are not designed to mount intelligence-gathering operations against our own government.”