40,000 released illegals fail to report to ICE as ordered
In what is easily the biggest unsurprising news of the year, over 40,000 illegals who arrived in the US since last October and were released by the Obama administration, failed to show up at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility within 15 days as ordered.
Tens of thousands of young families caught crossing the border illegally earlier this year subsequently failed to meet with federal immigration agents, as they were instructed, the Homeland Security Department has acknowledged privately.
An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments.
The ICE official made the disclosure in 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 participants.
On the recording obtained by the AP, 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 obtained by the AP, also said final deportation had been ordered for at least 860 people traveling in families caught at the border since May but only 14 people had reported as ordered.
The Homeland Security Department did not dispute the authenticity of the recording.
In a statement emailed Thursday afternoon, ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the no-show rate "represents an approximate snapshot of individuals encountered beginning in May" who didn't reported to ICE. Christiansen added that some of those people may still be reporting 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.
I think it very possible the government doesn't know how many illegals they released. Why should they keep count when they're never going to see them again?
And does anyone else find it strange - and a little bizarre - that the government has invited amnesty advocates to participate in a "working group" on detention and deportation policies? What about getting input from the other side? If you're going to formulate public policy, all viewpoints should be represented.
But the news that the illegals have disappeared into the hinterlands of America is exactly what we were expecting. The sudden appearance of thousands of kids in public schools is putting financial pressure on many school districts. Other social services where these families have been released are also feeling the pinch. In many cases, the administration didn't even bother informing local and state government that the illegals were being released.
Our border security is in the very best of hands.