President Joe Biden’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations has been releasing illegal immigrants with criminal histories, including assault, DUI, drug possession and illegal re-entry, into the United States.
An anonymous ICE official told Fox News on Thursday that the agency is making custody decisions on a “case by case” basis. Once determined, ICE transports illegal immigrants to airports and transit stations, and works with private organizations to coordinate shelter, food, clothing and additional transport.
A spokesperson for ICE said the agency’s enforcement priorities are focused on the removal of illegal immigrants “who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.”
“Noncitizens processed under Title 8 are evaluated for a custodial determination based on their immigration and criminal background, applicable sections of law, and established processing criteria,” the spokesperson said. “Individuals deemed suitable for release are released in coordination with local partners and are subject to reporting requirements associated with their immigration proceedings.”
When asked if American taxpayers are footing the bill for illegal immigrant travel, an agent told Fox that ICE makes “contact with the family members and ask them for an address and to please buy a ticket (bus or plane). If they don’t, then the NGO buys the ticket and bills the government.”
An agency official told Fox News that ICE had been turned into an “unofficial travel coordination agency,” with some agents even coordinating travel for illegal immigrants with criminal records.
The official also said recent reports showing hundreds of single adult illegal immigrants being rapidly processed and released into the United States only scratches the surface of the mass releases that have been taking place for nearly one year.
“Between [releases] and the vaccine mandate the morale is at the lowest,’ the source told Fox. “Imagine going to the office to make phone calls all day to coordinate travel for someone who just came in illegally, some of them with criminal records.”
President Biden’s administration has severely limited the agency’s arrest priorities to include only illegal immigrants who recently crossed the border, aggravated felons and national security threats.
Additionally, being in the United States illegally is no longer sufficient alone to earn deportation, according to new immigration enforcement guidelines released by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in November.
The report come after the Biden administration recorded 1.7 million illegal immigrant arrests at the US-Mexico border in FY21. The rate of illegal immigration shows no signs of slowing down – just three months into FY22, Biden’s CBP has already recorded over 500,000 illegal immigrant arrests, including 178,840 in December alone.