The charter flights have been underway since at least August, according to sources familiar with the matter. The flights originate in Texas, where the worsening border crisis has overwhelmed local immigration officials. Last week, The Post reported seeing planes land at the Westchester County Airport, where most of the passengers who exited appeared to be children and teens, with a small portion appearing to be men in their 20s.
Westchester County cops stood by as the passengers departed and piled into buses.
Some of them were later seen meeting up with relatives or sponsors in New Jersey, or being dropped off at a residential facility on Long Island. A Post analysis of online flight-tracking data indicates that around 2,000 migrants nabbed after sneaking into the US from Mexico have arrived at the airport outside White Plains on 21 flights since Aug. 8.
Records show some of the planes touched down between midnight and 6:30 a.m. — when a voluntary curfew goes into effect — with two arriving from Houston at 2:13 a.m. and 4:29 a.m. on Aug. 20.
The clandestine nature of the operation raises questions about how the White House is dealing with a surge in unaccompanied minors. The most recent figures offered by US Customs and Border Protection show that just during July and August, 37,805 unaccompanied minors were caught entering the US from Mexico — sometimes after being abandoned by professional smugglers known as "coyotes."
Video shows children being dropped over the border wall or abandoned altogether in remote areas.
A source familiar with the operation at the Westchester airport revealed the underage migrants typically arrive carrying backpacks and are bused to
locations including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, upstate Newburgh and Bridgeport and Danbury in Connecticut.
On Friday night, one bus left the Westchester airport and zoomed down the Hutchinson River Parkway — which is off-limits to commercial vehicles — at speeds greater than 75 mph before crossing the Throgs Neck Bridge.
Around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, it stopped in Syosset, Long Island, at the campus of MercyFirst, a nonprofit sponsored by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy that provides housing and services for "children and adolescents who are the victims of societal problems," according to its website.
MercyFirst has a contract to supply the federal government with residential services for "immigrant youth," according to the site.
MercyFirst CEO Renee Skolaski would not return a request for comment. Later Saturday, a similar scene panned out in Jacksonville, Fla., where many of the flights from Texas have touched down before continuing on to Westchester — and where The Post saw a Boeing 737-700 land shortly after 10 p.m. at Jacksonville International Airport.