ICE Struggles To Track Migrants Released Under Parole Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is facing significant challenges in locating migrants released under a special “parole” program initiated by DHS Chief Alejandro Mayorkas. According to recent government data, more than 99% of the illegal immigrants released a year ago remain unaccounted for. This situation underscores the complexity of managing the influx of migrants who have entered the U.S. under President Biden’s administration.

Migrants released under this program were given notices to appear in immigration court but were supposed to check in with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within 60 days to receive a court summons. However, many have failed to comply. ICE reports that of the 2,572 migrants involved, only 14 have been confirmed deported, departed, or deceased. This means that 99.5% of these individuals are still at large in the U.S. One migrant was in custody at the time of the report.

Judge T. Kent Wetherell II has demanded greater transparency from DHS regarding their handling of these cases. He ordered ICE to provide regular updates after DHS released these migrants contrary to a previous court order halting the Border Patrol’s parole program. The judge’s scrutiny reveals that even with pressure, ICE has struggled to serve Notices to Appear (NTA) to many of these migrants. Over 300 migrants remain without NTAs, and only one new summons was issued in the month preceding the latest report.

Andrew “Art” Arthur, a former immigration judge, commented on the situation, stating that these cases highlight the Biden administration’s difficulties in enforcing immigration laws. “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 has recently introduced a policy to limit asylum claims, aiming to address the border crisis. Despite lawsuits from immigration advocates, the policy remains in effect. Homeland Security officials have noted a 10% decrease in Border Patrol apprehensions and expect further reductions as potential migrants adjust their plans.

However, resolving the chaos from the past three years will be a monumental task. The total backlog of individuals in ICE’s deportation system has grown to approximately 7 million, with many awaiting court decisions or defying removal orders. The test group monitored by Judge Wetherell includes migrants from nearly four dozen countries, with Venezuelans, Colombians, and Peruvians being the most common nationalities.

The Biden administration’s efforts to control the situation face ongoing challenges, with many migrants released under the parole program remaining untracked and unserved.