Ernst slams Biden’s border policy as cancellations sweep Massachusetts hotels, ‘displacing’ military families

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FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is demanding action from President Biden regarding border security after military families who booked rooms in Foxboro, Massachusetts, which is the site of the 124th installment of the Army-Navy Game, received cancellation notices from hotels that are being used by the state to house migrants.

“It’s clear: these cancellations are due to your administration’s decision to ship illegal immigrants across the country to sanctuary cities at taxpayers’ expense,” Ernst wrote in the letter.

“Now, due to your untenable border crisis which has allowed nearly eight million illegal immigrants entry into the country, veterans and future servicemembers and their families will be unable to attend this year,” she said. 

Massachusetts has a “right to shelter” law, which ensures migrants and homeless families have somewhere to live.

VETERANS’ HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR ARMY-NAVY GAME CANCELED IN MASSACHUSETTS AMID MIGRANT INFLUX

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon in the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 14, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“It is flatly unacceptable for our veterans and military families to be displaced because of your administration’s failure to secure our southern border. Military families who have scrimped and saved to be able to afford a trip to the Army-Navy game should not have to compete with illegal immigrants for hotel room space,” Ernst wrote. 

Mark Mansbach, the owner of New Jersey-based Hillsdale Travel, has been servicing military members and their families for 20 years with hotel accommodations and more, especially when it comes to the Army-Navy Game. Mansbach, whose father was a first lieutenant in the 552nd Field Artillery Battalion attached to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, has a website dedicated to providing “military discounts to active-duty personnel, retired military, cadets, and families” for the game.

Mansbach previously told Fox News Digital that 60 combined rooms from various hotels were canceled, something he has never seen in his two decades of setting up military families for the game, which takes place this year on Dec. 9 at Gillette Stadium.

MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MAURA HEALEY ACTIVATES NATIONAL GUARD TO ASSIST IN EMERGENCY SHELTERS HOUSING MIGRANTS

Eagles Pass Texas migrants

Asylum seekers wait to be processed by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States on Sept. 30 in Eagle Pass, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

“Not only is this game a recruitment mechanism, those of us who have served know it is truly an opportunity to showcase America’s finest—the incredible young servicemembers who have stepped forward to serve their country—the Corps of Cadets and Brigade of Midshipmen,” Ernst wrote. “The Army-Navy Game gives attendees—many of whom are veterans themselves—the opportunity to honor the next generation of our fighting men and women, as well as our nation.”

Mansbach assisted 40 to 50 military families who lost their accommodations, suggesting Boston as an alternative route despite the higher cost. 

Families initially chose Mansbach for its military discounts but are now urgently seeking any available lodging for the game. 

“Simply put, your administration’s mismanagement at the border is causing American cities to be overrun and vital resources to be stretched beyond capacity. These problems will continue to persist until you finally take your obligation to secure our border seriously,” Ernst wrote.

In September, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey announced it would expand its legal services for illegal migrants who are living in emergency shelters. Last month, she said she was “troubled” to learn that veterans and military families were seeing canceled hotel reservations due to migrants and said Veterans’ Services Secretary Jon Santiago would be reaching out to displaced veterans.

MASSACHUSETTS GOV EXPANDS LEGAL SERVICES FOR MIGRANTS IN EMERGENCY SHELTERS

A view of the logo on the field prior to the 123rd playing of the Army-Navy game on Dec. 10, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Ernst’s push for tighter border security comes as GOP lawmakers have been pleading with Democrats to agree to a deal to add higher standards for asylum seekers at the southern border as part of Biden’s $106 billion national security supplemental request for aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. However, Democrat lawmakers are not interested in policy changes, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

Currently, the supplemental request includes some funds at the southern border to speed up asylum processing. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment. 

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report. 

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