ICE loses track of more than 47,000 illegal immigrants released into the U.S. since March

The migrants were given directions to report to ICE offices within 60 days of their apprehensions, about half did not

Updated: January 13, 2022 - 12:10pm

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More than 47,000 illegal migrants who were instructed to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office between spring and summer of 2021 have disappeared, according to new Department of Homeland Security data. 

In a letter this month addressed to GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin, the department revealed that 47,705 of roughly 100,000 migrants given a Notice to Report to ICE offices within 60 days failed to report in that time frame.

The information accounts for migrants apprehended from March to August 2021. 

Roughly 6,600 migrants had not checked in with ICE but were still inside the 60-day window, and another 49,859 did check in with an ICE office before the roughly two-month deadline.

The Notice to Report system was implemented by the Biden administration to try to combat the significant rise in encounters with illegal immigrants at the U.S. southern border.

The system is in theory faster and simpler than the previously implemented Notice to Appear system, in which immigrants were given a specific time and date to show up for their immigration hearing. 

The department also disclosed that from late March to early December in 2021, ICE issued an additional 50,000 NTAs to illegal immigrants who had initially been granted NTRs, but failed to report. 

The Biden administration has faced some heat for its failure to adequately confront the surge of illegal migration at the southern border, and especially for rolling back Trump-era polices that appear to have been slowing such migration.

Last month, a U.S. appeals court rejected an attempt by the Biden administration to put an end to Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy, which forced thousands of migrants seeking asylum to wait in Mexico as the U.S. reviewed their cases.

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