13 percent of released migrants appear at ICE offices, report says
Just 13 percent of the roughly 50,000 illegal immigrants released in the US without a court date — and ordered to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement — have bothered to show up, a new report said.
The illegal immigrants were given a list of addresses and contacts for ICE offices across the country and directed to report to one of them in the expectation that they would appear after reaching their destination to seek work permits, Axios reported on Tuesday.
Just 6,700 migrants who arrived in the US between mid-March and mid-July showed up at ICE offices as of Monday, the report said, citing data from the Department of Homeland Security.
And 16,000 who have not appeared are beyond the 60-day reporting period they were given when apprehended.
About 27,000 migrants who crossed the border and were released during the same time period have also not shown up, but are still within the 60-day window.
“While individuals have 60 days to check in with ICE, many are proactively reaching out to ICE to begin their official immigration processing, including by receiving a Notice to Appear,” DHS spokesperson Meira Bernstein told Axios. “Those who do not report, like anyone who is in our country without legal status, are subject to removal by ICE.”
The numbers were revealed as migrants continue to be released at the border by the Biden administration and flood into the country.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios that as of Monday, 7,300 migrants in the Rio Grande Valley region had been released in the past week without receiving a court date.
He said 55,000 migrants have been released into the US since March.
According to Customs and Border Protection, there have been 1,078,226 encounters in fiscal year 2021, which stretches from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021 – a 102 percent increase over fiscal year 2020.
The number of encounters has been especially high in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
Brian Hastings, the chief patrol agent for that area, said in a Twitter posting that 20,000 illegal migrants were apprehended in a week.
The Biden administration has come under fire for its inability to handle the crisis at the border.
President Biden rolled back a number of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, an action that critics say amounted to putting a welcome sign on the US border.
A report from Republican members of the Senate Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management found that the administration is spending $2 billion to stop construction of the border wall Trump began.