theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Saturday, September 27, 2014


At least 40,000 aliens vanish into USA..

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly three months this

 summer, the Obama administration carefully avoided 

answering questions about what happened to tens of

 thousands of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the

 Mexican border and released into the United States with

 instructions to report back to immigration authorities.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and others said

 they faced deportation. But it turns out that tens of

 thousands of those immigrants did not follow the

 government's instructions to meet with federal immigration

 agents within 15 days. Instead, they have vanished into the

 interior of the U.S.

The Homeland Security Department privately acknowledged

 that about 70 percent of immigrant families failed to report

 as ordered. The disclosure came during a confidential

 meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration

 advocates participating in a federal working group on 

detention and enforcement policies.

The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of

 Wednesday's meeting and separately interviewed


On the recording, the government did not specify the total

 number of families released into the U.S. since October.

 Since only a few hundred families have already been

 returned to their home countries and limited U.S. detention

 facilities can house only about 1,200 family members, the 70

 percent figure suggests the government released roughly

 41,000 members of immigrant families who subsequently

 failed to appear at federal immigration offices.

The official, who was not identified by name on the

 recording, also said final deportation had been ordered for at

 least 860 people traveling as families caught at the border

 since May but only 14 people had reported as ordered.

Overall about 25 percent of immigrants facing deportation do

 not show up for court hearings, according to court data

 maintained by the Justice Department's Executive Office for

 Immigration Review.

The Homeland Security Department did not dispute the

authenticity of the recording.

In an emailed statement Thursday, Immigration and

 Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gillian Christensen

 said the no-show figure represented "an approximate

 snapshot" of cases since May. Christiansen said some people

 may still report to immigration court hearings, and a

 "significant" number of deportation cases are still pending

before judges.

The AP reported in June that the administration would not

 say publicly how many immigrant families from Central

 America caught crossing into the U.S. it had released in

 recent months or how many of those subsequently reported

 back to the government after 15 days as directed. The AP

 noted that senior U.S. officials directly familiar with the

 issue, including at the Homeland Security Department and

 White House, had dodged the answer on at least seven

 occasions over two weeks, alternately saying that they did

 not know the figure or didn't have it immediately at hand.

Homeland Security's public affairs office during the same

 period did not answer roughly a dozen requests for the


More than 66,000 immigrants traveling as families, mostly

 mothers and young children, have been apprehended at the

 border since the start of the budget year in October. Nearly

 60,000 of those immigrants are from Honduras, El Salvador

 and Guatemala and cannot be immediately repatriated, so

 the government has been releasing them into the U.S. and

 telling them to report within 15 days to the nearest

 Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices.

Republican lawmakers have been critical of the

 administration's decision to release any immigrants caught

 crossing the border illegally.

"With this administration's failure to enforce our

 immigration laws, it is no surprise that 70 percent of the

 families released take their chances to stay here and don't

 show up for their follow-up appointments or court dates,"

 House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.,


That previously undisclosed no-show rate led in part to the

 government's decision in June to open a temporary

 detention facility at a federal training center in Artesia, New


A second immigration jail in Texas was later converted for

 families and can house about 530 people. A third such

 detention center will open in Texas later this year. Before the

 new facility in Artesia, the government had room for fewer

 than 100 people at its only family detention center in


Immigration advocates have complained that the new

 detention centers were punishing immigrants who ultimately

 may win lawful asylum claims to remain in the U.S. In the

 meeting, they also questioned whether immigration officials

 had clearly and properly instructed immigrants to meet with

 federal agents within 15 days.

The ICE official said it was necessary to detain families to

 ensure they didn't vanish into the U.S. He encouraged

 advocacy groups to help find ways to ensure that immigrants

 reported to federal agents as ordered so the government

 could begin processing their cases, including any requests to

 remain in the U.S. legally.

No comments:

Post a Comment