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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not issue court summonses to more than 80% of the migrants who were caught and released under President Biden’s “parole” program just before Title 42 ended, according to a report.
Initially, when the migrants were apprehended, they were released on “parole” and told to check in with ICE within 60 days, according to statistics that the government submitted to a federal judge, The Washington Times reported.
More than 40% of those migrants never even showed up to check in.
The rest actually did check in with ICE, but ICE released 80% of those migrants again without giving them a notice to appear in immigration court.
The Biden administration’s now-defunct “parole” program was a temporary program intended to prepare for a surge of migrants just before Title 42 ended on May 11.
A total of 2,572 migrants were released on “parole” after the end of Title 42, a COVID emergency rule that allowed authorities to deport migrants quickly, according to the documents reviewed by The Washington Times.
Of those 2,572 released migrants, only 1,507 checked in by the deadline of July 10, and only 464 of those were issued a notice to appear in immigration court.
As a result, the government appears to have lost track of 2,108 — or 82% — of the “paroled” migrants.
“These statistics are troubling to say the least,” District Judge T. Kent Wetherell of Florida wrote Tuesday. “But even more troubling is the fact that DHS apparently does not have a plan in place to track down the aliens who are in violation of the conditions of their ‘parole’ — and, thus, unlawfully in the country.”
Officials said ICE failed to issue so many court summonses due to “limited agency resources.”
“DHS maintains its commitment that individuals have an obligation to comply with requirements imposed by DHS, and ICE is prepared to take such actions as may be required to ensure that individuals who were released pending the initiation of their immigration court proceedings comply with the terms of their release,” a Justice Department lawyer told the judge.
However, Judge Wetherell, a Trump appointee, said he is “skeptical that DHS is serious” about finding the migrants and making them comply with the law. The judge called these migrants “only the tip of the iceberg” and referenced the many other illegal migrants who have been released into the country by the Biden administration.
Hours before Title 42 expired in May, Wetherell issued a ruling blocking the Biden administration’s “parole” program. However, by that point, thousands of migrants had already reaped the benefits of the program.
“The Southwest Border has been out of control for the past 2 years,” Wetherell said at the time. “And it is about to get worse because, at midnight tonight, the Title 42 order expires.”
Overall, during the last two years, the administration has allowed at least 541,000 migrants into the country through the parole authority, which allows the federal government to let in migrants without visas.
The Biden administration’s broad use of parole authority has lowered Border Patrol’s illegal migrant apprehension numbers, which one former DHS official called “deceitful.”
“The number of illegal and inadmissible aliens coming into the country is still just as high, but the administration is using a shell game and sending people through ports of entry instead of between ports of entry, and then declaring that an improvement on the border,” said Lora Ries, director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation.