Roughly 50,000 migrants who have crossed the southern border illegally have been released, according to Axios, with no court date. The migrants were told to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office for processing, but so far, only 13% of them have.
The sizable number of people released reflects just how overburdened agencies at the U.S.-Mexico border are. According to a tweet from Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings, the CBP, this week "apprehended more than 20K" migrants.
Hastings added that apprehensions this year crossed the 1 million mark in June.
The release of migrants who entered the U.S. illegally without a court date is unprecedented; those released have instead been given a list of ICE offices to contact. The goal is for migrants to appear at the ICE offices in the hope they have obtained a work permit. But so far, 16,000 have not shown up, surpassing the 60-day window they were given.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, reported on Monday that 7,300 immigrants were released last week without court dates.
According to a fact sheet released Tuesday morning, a statement from the White House mentions that "we will always be a nation of borders, and we will enforce our immigration laws in a way that is fair and just. We will continue to work to fortify an orderly immigration system."
The Department of Homeland Security's Meira Bernstein echoed that statement, saying that "while individuals have 60 days to check in with ICE, many are proactively reaching out to ICE to begin their official immigration processing, including by receiving a Notice to Appear."
"Those who do not report, like anyone who is in our country without legal status, are subject to removal by ICE," she added.
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