In a response to the Transactional Research Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admitted they have “no records” for hundreds of thousands of migrants who illegally crossed the border into the United States.
TRAC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in September 2022 seeking information about the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program that is responsible for electronically monitoring migrants who have entered the country illegally.
In a response dated December 22, 2022, DHS stated that ICE had conducted a search of the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) for records responsive to your request.” DHS concluded based on this search that “no records responsive to your request were found.”
TRAC then issued a warning stating that ATD data for more than 377,900 migrants contained “significant data mistakes”. This illustrates that not only was there clear negligence in tracking these migrants, but begs the question of just how many thousands more there might be.
ICE's data mismanagement issues surrounding Alternatives to Detention (which claims to track 377k migrants) have become so bad that TRAC has been forced to add a WARNING to our ATD data online. Still waiting for the agency to send us corrected data…https://t.co/1bHPBJ1OWK pic.twitter.com/0PlDmVrNwT
— Austin Kocher, PhD (@ackocher) December 29, 2022
This is just the latest development in the Biden administration’s lack of accountability and action in securing the southern border. Last week, President Biden addressed the Supreme Court’s decision to extend Title 42 by saying that terminating the policy was “overdue” despite the threat of a historic surge of illegal immigrants that would follow.
President Biden announced Wednesday his intention to finally visit the southern border, though his announcement was met with sharp criticism from House GOP members, including Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) who tweeted that the president’s visit was “too little, too late”.
Now Biden says his “intent” is to visit the border next week.
Too little, too late. But at least he’d get to see the crisis he created.
— Rep. Darrell Issa (@repdarrellissa) January 4, 2023
The influx of migrants was shrugged off by Biden Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at a congressional hearing in November when he stated that the southern border “is secure”. The administration’s denial of the issue has only added to the concerns shared by both Republican leaders and the American people alike.
As for the roughly 377k migrants not recorded through the ATD program, there are still many more that aren’t enrolled in the program and are undocumented that have made passage to the US during President Biden’s time in office.