DHS Concedes a “Discrepancy” in Reporting Its Tracking of Migrants It Releases into the U.S. (They Were Off by 18,000 Percent!)
Federal law requires that migrants apprehended entering the U.S. illegally must be detained. The Biden administration has attempted to skirt that requirement claiming that its Alternatives to Detention (ATD) policies are just as effective and cost taxpayers less. No, they’re not. Under ATD, migrants are issued tracking devices such as ankle bracelets or cell phones with special apps that the government claims allows it to keep tabs on migrants who wait for hearings on their asylum claims. According to one senior Border Patrol officer, the current wait time is now 85 months – more than seven years.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is responsible for tracking every illegal migrant who is released into the country, publicly assured the American public that out of all the migrants they have put in ATD, only 266 had been released without some sort of tracking device as of mid-November. The department made that claim on its website. Not only was that a lie – DHS knew the information was incorrect – it was a whopper of a lie. In actuality, according to an internal DHS document, 49,459 illegal migrants who were supposedly released under ATD were not being surveilled at all. That amounts to a discrepancy of 18,000 percent between what they were doing and what they were telling the American public.
Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Chief of Staff, John Feere, charged that this gross misrepresentation is consistent with the Biden administration’s efforts to eviscerate immigration enforcement and hiding it from the public. “The Biden administration has shown repeatedly that it’s willing to mislead the public about the impact of their dangerous, anti-enforcement agenda. They’ve concealed data previously published by ICE and haven’t had a press conference at ICE headquarters. I have to believe it’s because they know what they’re doing is indefensible.”
Even when data is being accurately reported, FAIR has consistently opposed the use of ATD. The prospect of being released into the country, pending a hearing years in the future, provides an additional layer of incentive to come to the U.S. illegally. Moreover, bogus asylum seekers understand that they can comply with reporting requirements, allowing them to live and work here, right up until the time that a final ruling on their case is issued. At that point they disappear knowing that there is little chance that DHS will come looking for them, much less remove them from the country.
The only viable alternative to Alternative to Detention is actual detention and swift removal of people who have no valid claims for asylum in the United States.