An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman has revealed that 70% of illegal immigrants released into the United States this year have failed to subsequently appear at immigration hearings.
The AP repeatedly asked for figures about the number of immigrants released into the United States but each time they asked ICE refused to offer any details. However, ICE held a private meeting with immigration advocates in Washington D.C. Wednesday during which a representative revealed the figures during a discussion. An audio tape of the gathering was then leaked to the AP.
Approximate 60,000 illegal immigrants from Central America have been apprehended at the border this fiscal year. According to the unidentified ICE spokesperson, 860 deportation have been ordered so far but only 14 actual deportations have taken place since May.
The U.S. has very limited space to detain immigrants while they await hearings. The current total is around 1,200 beds. That means most of the remaining families apprehended at the border have been released into the country. The AP calculates that this works out to approximately 41,000 individuals who were released and have failed to show up for their first appointment.