Nearly 9-in-10 illegal aliens who have been recently released into the interior of the United States while they await their asylum hearings are not showing up to their court dates, according to a federal pilot program.
For almost half a year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has ramped up its catch and release of border crossers and illegal aliens, specifically those arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border with children.
Since December 21, 2018, DHS has released at least 190,500 border crossers and illegal aliens into the interior of the United States. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan told Congress this month that those foreign nationals are eventually given work permits that allow them to take U.S. jobs while awaiting their asylum hearings.
In testimony before Congress this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said that the agency had recently conducted a pilot program with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to test how many recent illegal aliens would show up to their asylum hearings after being released into the U.S.
The results, an ICE official told Congress, were that about 87 percent of illegal aliens, or almost 9-in-10, recently released by DHS into the U.S. did not show up to their asylum hearings. With illegal aliens not showing up to their scheduled hearings, the ICE official said, the agency is then forced to grapple with attempting to locate and deport each illegal alien, an almost impossible task that strains federal resources.
“That particular population, as we continue to release into the interior hundreds if not thousands of family units into the interior every week, is of grave concern as it relates to these individuals not appearing before immigration judges and now being fugitives,” the ICE official said.
In the same hearing, another federal immigration official said that only about 12 percent of border crossers and illegal aliens who complete their asylum processes actually end up qualifying for asylum — a statistic that underscores the enormous fraud and abuse in the country’s immigration system.
At current rates of illegal immigration, border apprehensions for the calendar year 2019 are expected to outpace every fiscal year of former President Obama. Meanwhile, DHS officials have said only about 42 miles of mostly replacement border wall barriers have been constructed since President Trump’s inauguration.
Leading up to the 2020 presidential election, Americans are vastly opposed to releasing border crossers and illegal aliens into the interior of the country, and GOP voters have said building a border wall and reducing all illegal and legal immigration is their top priority.
About 2-in-3 American voters told Harvard-Harris pollsters last month that they are opposed to catching and then releasing border crossers and illegal aliens into the U.S. while they await their asylum hearings. Likewise, GOP voters, conservatives, and Trump supporters have ranked building a border wall and reducing all immigration as their top priorities.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.