The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) internal watchdog, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), has uncovered some concerning information. Last week the DHS issued a report titled “DHS Does Not Have Assurance That All Migrants Can be Located Once Released into the United States”.
According to the OIG audit, Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers frequently failed to accurately record and verify addresses provided by illegal aliens before their release. These discrepancies were often discovered only after the individuals had left custody.
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During a review of 981,671 records of illegal aliens from March 2021 to August 2022 the OIG identified 177,000 invalid addresses. Approximately 54,000 of those addresses were left entirely blank. The OIG’s report highlighted several contributing factors to this issue.
Large numbers of apprehended immigrants, limited coordination between ICE and border patrol and constrained authority to enforce address requirements supposedly played a role. ICE also reportedly faced resource limitations in validating and analyzing migrants’ post-release addresses.
Throughout this year-and-a-half period, CBP issued over 430,000 notices to appear (NTAs) to illegal aliens before their release. These NTAs instructed them to appear before immigration judges to evaluate their cases further. An additional 95,000 were released based on prosecutorial discretion.
Over 318,000 were granted humanitarian parole, resulting in an average of 60,000 monthly releases. ICE also discovered various issues including 97,000 apartment addresses without unit numbers, 780 addresses used 20+ times and seven addresses recorded more than 500 times.
Furthermore, one individual served as a point of contact for more than 100 illegal aliens. The report emphasized the significance of accurate post-release addresses, particularly as DHS apprehends and releases tens of thousands of migrants each month.
Four solutions are listed at the end of that report. All would require CBP and ICE to correctly and carefully verify addresses and keep track of immigrants who don’t have one (or don’t offer it). DHS “non-concurred” with them and cited a lack of resources and accountability.
The prevalence of missing, invalid or duplicate addresses raises concerns about the department’s ability to locate migrants after their release into the U.S. These findings highlight the challenges surrounding immigration enforcement and the need for improved procedures to ensure accountability and accuracy.