Under President Joe Biden’s administration, federal authorities released more than 100,000 noncitizens detained at the border into the U.S. with instructions to self-report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within 60 days. Of those released, 47,705 failed to show up at an ICE office.
In response to Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) requests for information on border and immigration enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security described the progress of its new notice to report (NTR) program, which releases non-citizens detained at the border with a notice to report to ICE. The NTR program allows for border detainees to be released while an existing notice to appear (NTA) program provides a secondary notice informing those noncitizens when they need to appear before an immigration court.
According to the DHS data, between the start of the NTR program on March 21, 2021 and Aug. 31, 2021, the DHS released 104,171 noncitizens with an NTR. Of those released, 47,705 did not check in with ICE after 60 days.
Another 6,607 did not check in with ICE but were still within their 60-day self-reporting period as of Aug. 31. The DHS did not clarify what has happened to these 6,607 who did not check in within their 60-day reporting period.
Of the 49,859 who did check in with ICE, 37,161 checked in within 60 days, while the remaining 12,698 checked in after 60 days.
Of those 49,859 that did comply with the NTR and reported to an ICE field office, only 16,293 (about 15 percent of the 104,171 total noncitizens that received NTRs) received their subsequent NTA, notifying them of their immigration court date.
Responding to the newly released DHS data, Johnson’s office published a press release calling the NTR program “has been an abysmal failure.”
The Washington Examiner reported Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told senators in September that those who fail to self-report to ICE “would qualify as an enforcement priority of ours.” That would mean 47,705 noncitizens with NTRs who did not report within their 60-day window, and potentially 6,607 more, could be targeted by ICE for arrests and deportations.
The 2021 fiscal year saw a record-breaking 1.73 million illegal immigrant apprehensions at the U.S. border, surpassing the previous record 1.69 million set 37 years earlier in 1986. About 95 percent of all apprehensions were made by U.S. Border Patrol agents. About 33 percent of apprehensions took place in the Rio Grande Valley.
In November, Mayorkas defended against accusations from Republican Senators that the Biden administration “open borders” policies.