Immigration system buckling under pressure from open border, Homeland watchdog warns

Federal authorities don’t know the location of potentially hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Updated: July 24, 2022 - 11:19pm

Federal authorities don’t know the location of potentially hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who entered the country last year, the internal watchdog for the Homeland Security Department is warning.

Customs and Border Protection agent did not record the U.S. addresses of about a third of illegal border crossers between March and June 2021, when more than 720,000 migrants illegally crossed along the southwest border.

About 30 percent of migrants released into the United States between March and September 2021 “did not comply with release terms,” the report warned.

The Homeland Security inspector general report comes as President Joe Biden faces bipartisan criticism over his handling of the border.

There have been a record 1,746,119 total encounters on the southern border in the 2022 fiscal year so far. The previous record occurred in 2021 when 1,734,686 crossed the border illegally.

Overwhelmed border agents began using “ad hoc methods” such as white boards to track the whereabouts of migrants with little success, the report said.

“DHS’s IT systems did not effectively allow CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel to track migrants from apprehension to release or transfer,” the report states. “These deficiencies can delay DHS from uniting children with families and sponsors and cause migrants to remain in DHS custody beyond legal time limits.”