Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has lost track of almost half of the illegal migrants the Border Patrol was ordered to release into the US last year.
Over 100,000 migrants were released into the country from March through August last year after being apprehended at the southern border. They were each given the notice to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 60 days of their release. Of the migrants released during that period, DHS information reveals that 47,705 failed to check in with ICE and effectively went missing inside the US.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released the data on Tuesday in response to a letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent three months ago.
The major change in the system came last March when the “Notices to Report” replaced “Notices to Appear.” The previous notices provide a date, time, and location for immigrants to report their first court appearance regarding their immigration status.
Supporters of that change say it was necessary because of the backlog of 1.5 million cases in US immigration courts. Opponents say that the new process creates an honor system for illegal immigrants to report, with no actual enforcement options open to federal agents when migrants ignore the obligation to report.
Under the previous system, if a migrant failed to appear at the scheduled court date, the judge could issue an order for their immediate arrest and deportation when they are located. The information just released by DHS indicates that only 15.6 percent of the more than 100,000 illegals released into the US since last March have been issued such orders.
The report from this week contradicts statements made before the Senate by Mayorkas last September. At that time, he told Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) that a “vast majority” of the migrants who had been given Notices to Report had reported to ICE officials as required. Mayorkas went on in that hearing to say that the number who had reported was “approximately 75 percent.” He also said that the ones who had not reported were an “enforcement priority” for DHS.