Border agents have released about 50,000 migrants into the U.S. without giving them a date to appear in court, Axios reported on Tuesday.
Thousands of migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally have been instructed to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices instead of having a court date assigned to them. Those migrants were given 60 days to show up at an ICE office.
Only 6,700 migrants who arrived between mid-March and mid-July have arrived at ICE offices, a source briefed on data from the Department of Homeland Security told Axios. Another 16,000 failed to appear at an ICE office within the 60-day limit, while 27,000 migrants have not yet reported to ICE but remain within the 60-day time frame.
When Border Patrol agents release migrants from custody into the U.S., they are generally given a date to appear in immigration court, where a judge will decide whether to process their asylum cases. The decision to release migrants without giving them a court date was reportedly made because of major increases in the number of illegal border crossings.
The border crisis has “become so dire that BP has no choice but to release people nearly immediately after apprehension because there is no space to hold people,” a senior Border Patrol source told Fox News in March.
Border Patrol agents encountered over 188,000 migrants crossing the border in June, the highest number recorded so far this year and the highest monthly total in a decade. Chief Brian Hastings, head of the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector, noted that over 20,000 migrants were apprehended in the sector over the past week.
It's the hottest part of the summer and apprehensions are skyrocketing! #USBP Apprehensions surpassed the 1-million milestone in June.
— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) July 25, 2021
“Apprehensions surpassed the 1-million milestone in June,” Hastings wrote in a Twitter post. “NOW- this week alone,” Rio Grande Valley agents have “apprehended more than 20K illegally present migrants.”