According to officers involved in the operation, the Biden Administration's attempt to track down and serve illegal aliens released under "catch-and-release" from the border turned into a "complete waste of time."
According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sources, officers were tasked with locating and providing summonses to more than 30,000 aliens released on their own recognizance by the Administration after illegally crossing the southern border. However, in total, officers could locate and serve only about 600 of those aliens.
This abject failure means tens of thousands of illegal aliens remain at large throughout the country's interior without any official notice to appear for their immigration court proceedings - and will most likely remain that way.
The Washington Times reports that agents tasked with tracking these aliens knew the job was hopeless given the high numbers of aliens providing false addresses to border agents after they were encountered. The agents added that these aliens have not been in the U.S. long enough to establish trackable phone or utility records.
The Washington Times includes several anonymous quotes by ICE officers describing the situation.
"I haven't went on one where there was a person at the house where they said they would be," one West Coast officer said. "It seems like this administration is trying to find busy work to keep us from actually arresting people."
"I've got child molesters, I've got aggravated felons, I've got more important people to go after," said an officer who works the southern part of the country.
"There were plenty of good cases that we've had to push to the side because, on a weekly basis, we had to go out and try to do something with these cases," said an officer who works on the East Coast. "It was basically three months of at least going out weekly when there were plenty of cases that were definitely more of a public safety consideration that we couldn't work."
Under previous administrations, when illegal aliens are caught at the border and released under "catch-and-release," they are typically served with immigration court summons called Notices to Appear. However, under the Biden Administration and the failed leadership of DHS Sec. Mayorkas, aliens are now being given Notices to Report - meaning the alien promises to turn themselves into a local ICE office when they arrive at their destination within the U.S.
"Issuing an NTA can take 90 minutes to fill out the forms, while issuing an NTR can take just a small fraction of that time. That meant agents could move migrants through the processing more quickly," says The Washington Times. The article adds:
An NTA enters a migrant into deportation proceedings. Migrants can be ordered removed by immigration judges if they don't show up for their hearings.
Those given NTRs are not officially in deportation court proceedings. Instead, an NTR asks them to check in with an ICE office within 60 days and, usually, to collect an NTA.
Tens of thousands have failed to do so.
To add insult to injury, of the approximate 600 aliens located by ICE agents, only some were issued Notices to Appear. Instead, most were issued further paperwork like ICE's Form G-56, essentially doing nothing more than instructing migrants to check in at a local ICE office. More paperwork means more processing time, which means more time ICE agents will not be focused on capturing high-profile criminal aliens.
The Washington Times concludes:
It was particularly galling to officers because, even if they did track down one of the border migrants, they weren't arresting or detaining them, merely issuing new paperwork, officers said.
"If I wasn't going after that guy, I could be going after another guy I could potentially be taking into custody or removing," the West Coast officer told The Times.
You can read the full article here.
Updated: Tue, Sep 27th 2022 @ 1:59pm EDT