ICE Faces Challenges In Tracking Migrants Released By DHS Under Parole Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is struggling to track down migrants released under a special “parole” program initiated by DHS Chief Alejandro Mayorkas. Recent government data indicates that over 99% of the migrants released a year ago remain unaccounted for, posing a significant challenge to the Biden administration’s immigration enforcement efforts.

These migrants, who were released with notices to appear in immigration court, were supposed to check in with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within 60 days to receive a court summons. However, compliance has been low, with ICE confirming that only 14 out of 2,572 migrants have been deported, departed, or deceased. This leaves 99.5% of the migrants still at large in the U.S., and only one migrant was in custody at the time of the report.

Judge T. Kent Wetherell II has demanded greater transparency from DHS in handling these cases. Following his order, ICE has been providing regular updates on the status of these migrants. Despite this, ICE has struggled to issue Notices to Appear (NTA) to many of the migrants, with over 300 still without NTAs. In the month before the latest report, only one new summons was issued.

Andrew “Art” Arthur, a former immigration judge, stated that these cases highlight the challenges faced by the Biden administration. “Those 2,572 people are not even just a case study in Biden immigration enforcement. They are the Biosphere 2 of Biden immigration enforcement,” he said.

President Biden recently announced a new policy to limit asylum claims in an effort to manage the border crisis. Although immigration advocates have sued to block the policy, it remains in effect. Homeland Security officials have reported a 10% decrease in Border Patrol apprehensions, anticipating further declines as migrants adjust their plans.

Despite these efforts, unwinding the chaos from the past three years will be a daunting task. The backlog in ICE’s deportation system has grown to approximately 7 million individuals, many of whom are awaiting court decisions or defying removal orders. The test group monitored by Judge Wetherell includes migrants from nearly four dozen countries, with the majority being Venezuelans, Colombians, and Peruvians.

The Biden administration’s attempt to control the border situation continues to face significant hurdles, with many migrants released under the parole program remaining untracked and unserved.

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