Matt Bush, FISM News
Migrants crossing at the southern border are being released into the U.S. without a court date, instead being told to check in with local Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices within 60 days.
Until March 2021, all migrants entering the country were given a “Notice to Appear” (NTA) which contained a court date, and formally enrolled each person into immigration proceedings.
Starting in March 2021, many migrants were instead given a “Notice to Report” which simply tells migrants that they need to report to a local ICE facility sometime in the following 60 days. There is no court date and no formal enrolling into immigration proceedings, a process that has left a vague sense of confusion for people trying to enter the country and a total lack of accountability.
Allowing migrants into the country without an NTA is a break from the protocol of previous administrations. This new practice came to be, apparently, because border crossings, since Biden took office, shattered previous records in 2021 and 2022, and the president did not know how to handle the influx. According to NBC News, migrant border crossings in fiscal year 2022 topped 2.76 million, breaking the record of 1.72 million in 2021.
Releasing migrants into the country with little to no instructions on what to do next has devastating consequences for migrants and for the U.S. It forces migrants to live in the shadows with little hope of finding legal work or building a life in America, and it creates a dangerous situation where the American legal system has no idea who is crossing the southern border daily.
Immigration lawyers like Karlyn Kurichety, legal director of a migrant advocacy organization called Al Otro Lado, are saying that clients are walking into their offices confused and not understanding their next step. “A lot of the people who are here, they really urgently want to seek asylum. They want their case heard as soon as possible. They don’t want to be in limbo,” Kurichety said.
According to documents received by NBC News in March 2021 when the practice of allowing migrants to pass with a Notice to Report rather than an NTA was instituted, it was “intended to mitigate operational challenges, including risks to national security, during significant surges of illegal migration as currently exist in the Rio Grande Valley by reducing the time immigrants spend in custody.”
While it may have accomplished the goal of expediting the process, it has created far more problems than solutions.
To add to the issue of untraceable migrants being released into America by border agents, Fox News recently released a report that from October 2022 through the end of January 2023, almost 300,000 illegal immigrants “slipped past border agents.” These illegal immigrants are known as “gotaways” and that means that they evaded agents but were spotted through a different form of surveillance. That same report quoted border agents as saying that there have been more than 1.2 million gotaways during Biden’s presidency.