A video exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation appears to show a U.S. service member guarding a room chock-full of illegal immigrants at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport.
Republican state Sen. Colton Moore, who is the vice chairman of the Georgia Freedom Caucus, took the video Tuesday night and told the DCNF that he learned of the hidden room full of migrants through a “whistleblower” at Atlanta’s airport, who noticed an influx of illegal migrants coming through the facility in recent months. In the video, there appears to be a uniformed soldier guarding a room full of migrants and volunteers with a group called Team Libertad, which boasts of helping migrants travel on its social media accounts.
“We’re all getting them flights to where they need to be,” a man who identified himself as a volunteer from Team Libertad says in the video. “These are just recently documented travelers getting released from ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] getting to where they need to be.”
“There’s people that, they get dropped off here from ICE detention with no help,” the man added.
Team Libertad, which is part of a program run by the nonprofit group Inspiritus, greets migrants at the Atlanta airport and accompanies them to their gates, according to a sign up page the organization uses to recruit volunteers.
“Team Libertad helps travelers find their way through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Information regarding these travelers is protected by HIPAA,” the group told the DCNF in a statement.
Migrants who come to the U.S. illegally can fly commercially, even without IDs, the DCNF reported in January 2022. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts a number of alternate forms of identification that include certain arrest warrants and their notices to appear in court.
It is not clear why there appeared to be a military member, whose branch affiliation is unclear, guarding the room. In a statement to the DCNF, a spokesperson for the Georgia National Guard said they’re “not aware of the incident in question or any such activity involving the Georgia National Guard at the airport.” The Pentagon did not respond to the DCNF’s inquiries.
Moore, whose voice can be heard in the video, said the man who appeared to be a soldier guarding the room eventually took his phone and stopped him from filming. In the video, individuals can be heard shouting “no” multiple times and saying “you’re done.”
“The room was absolutely packed with people from every continent on this planet,” Moore told the DCNF. “When I took my phone and reached it up above the guy to get a better view of all the illegals in the room, that’s when chaos broke out. That’s when the U.S. Army guy took the phone. It was a scrimmage between he and I in order to get the phone back. And then he proceeded to tell me to get out of there and just made a real big scene out of it.”
The whistleblower said that there’s been an uptick of migrants traveling through the Atlanta airport in recent months, Moore explained.
The Biden administration began flying illegal migrants in secretive overnight trips to New York as early as August 2021, according to The New York Post.
In recent years, federal authorities have recorded a record spike in illegal migrant crossings at the southern border. Border Patrol recorded more than 2.2 million encounters in fiscal year 2022 and more than 2 million in fiscal year 2023 at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to federal data.
Between October and December, Border Patrol recorded an additional roughly 629,000 encounters at the southern border, according to the data.
In a statement to the DCNF, the Atlanta airport said Moore “interrupted” their efforts to assist migrants.
“ATL works with Team Libertad volunteers to provide assistance to immigrants during their travel. Tuesday night, that work was interrupted when Senator Colton Moore and another gentleman attempted to enter and record their volunteers. Consequently, concerned witnesses called 911 and the men were eventually escorted off the floor by witnesses,” the airport said in a statement to the DCNF.
“Team Libertad is a non-profit that has worked at ATL since 2020 and there are no military or other law enforcement agencies involved in this effort. Immigrants are never housed in the airport,” the airport added.