About 70 percent of the tens of thousands illegal immigrant family units detained crossing the U.S./Mexico border and released into the United States have failed to fulfill their obligation to report back to immigration officials, according to a new report.
The Associated Press reports it has obtained audio of a confidential Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting with immigration advocates working on detention policies that occurred on Wednesday.
On the recording, according to the AP, an ICE official revealed that about 70 percent of the illegal immigrant families detained and then released into the United States did not show up for their required appointments 15 days later with federal immigration officials.
“Since only a few hundred families have already been returned to their home countries and limited U.S. detention facilities can house only about 1,200 family members, the 70 percent figure suggests the government released roughly 41,000 members of immigrant families who subsequently failed to appear at federal immigration offices,” the AP’s Alicia Caldwell reported Thursday.
Caldwell further reported that the unnamed official added that 860 people in family units detained at the border had been ordered for removal but only 14 of them had reported to federal officials.
Since October more than 66,000 family units have been detained illegally entering the United States — the vast majority of those detained have been from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Most of them have been released into the United States.
The influx of illegal immigrant family units occurred in conjunction with the increase in illegal immigration by unaccompanied minors, both of which have strained government resources and captured headlines. Since October more than 66,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors have been detained and the vast majority have been released into the U.S.