DHS Cannot Account for 50K Migrants Released in 2021

Wandering Through Town
Breitbart Texas/Randy Clark

Data released by the Department of Homeland Security show more than 50,000 migrants released by the agency with instructions to report to ICE once at their desired U.S. location have failed to do so. The Notice to Report (NTR) process was instituted to help the Border Patrol ease detention facility overcrowding in 2021.

The federal disclosure covers the period between March and August 2021. Of more than 270,000 migrants released by DHS, roughly 104,000 were placed in the NTR system which trusts the migrant to voluntarily report to ICE at their intended U.S. destination to begin the deportation process.

The DHS report issued in response to an inquiry by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) notes more than 50,000 migrants — greater than half of those released under NTRs —failed to make formal contact with ICE.

In an exclusive report by Breitbart Texas, the policy change relying on the honor system of self-reporting to ICE went into effect in March 2021. Data released by DHS only addresses the first six months of the procedure in place.

Historically, when detention space is scarce, a Notice to Appear (NTA) specifies a date and time for a migrant to appear before an immigration judge. The migrant can be ordered for removed even in absentia.

Migrants may also be released in a parole status which may allow lawful employment within the United States. It provides an incentive to stay in contact with ICE to renew work authorization.

Under the Notice to Report, of which 104,000 were issued during the study period in 2021, migrants are free to travel within the United States but must report to the nearest ICE office within 60 days under an honor system. In March 2021, a CBP source told Breitbart Texas this policy change would likely result in many migrants failing to report.

Of those migrants who did report to an ICE office, only 16,296 of 49,859 were issued the required Notice to Appear, establishing a court date and initiating the removal process. The issuance of the Notices to Appear for those that did report accounted for only 15 percent of migrants who reported to ICE.

Randy Clark
 is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.


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