Biden Immigration Officials Let Nearly 12,000 At Risk Migrants Roam The Country, Watchdog Finds

The border fence between the United States and Mexico at the Pacific Ocean at Border Field State Park and Imperial Beach, south of San Diego, California.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released thousands of migrants into the country despite risk assessments recommending they be detained, according to a newly released report.

ICE officers released 11,754 noncitizens from their custody despite receiving Risk Classification Assessments (RCA) that recommended they remain detained, according to a report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. The report determined that, for roughly 70% of the cases, ICE officers did not provide “sufficient justification” for their decision to release these noncitizens when their RCA recommended they be detained.

“The RCA process was designed to help ICE officers make informed, consistent, and transparent custody decisions,” the report concluded. “However, ICE officials did not consistently use the RCA process or act according to its recommendations.”

“Without a policy and appropriate oversight for the RCA process, ICE cannot ensure its officers will make informed, consistent, and transparent custody decisions that prevent the release of noncitizens who pose a potential risk to public safety,” the report continued.

ICE officers also did not conduct an RCA of 79,977 detained noncitizens in fiscal year 2023, the report found. Fiscal year 2022 was even higher, with ICE officers failing to conduct RCAs on 129,250 noncitizens in their custody.

In order to address this issue, the DHS inspector general recommended the Executive Associate Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations assign an office to be responsible for managing the RCA process and establish a formal policy for using this assessment process. ICE responded to the report, agreeing to both recommendations made by the inspector general.

The report comes just days after the DHS inspector general also found that other immigration agencies were not properly vetting the many foreign nationals entering the United States.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not have complete access to federal data to fully vet foreign nationals entering the country via ports of entry, potentially allowing in terrorists and other dangerous criminals, according to a recently released DHS inspector general report. The report also found United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was not conducting complete checks on asylum seekers already in the country to ensure they have no suspicious background information on their records.

ICE and FBI officials arrested several foreign nationals with suspected ISIS ties in a nationwide sting operation last week.

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