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Immigration

Nearly 50,000 undocumented migrants have gone missing under Biden

The migrants had to report themselves to ICE within 60 days of their release

Three failed smuggling attempts lead to 16 arrests
Tres intentos fallidos de contrabando permitieron 16 detenciones | Shutterstock

January 13, 2022 11:08pm

Updated: January 16, 2022 3:46pm

Nearly 50,000 migrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the U.S. and were released into the country have disappeared and cannot be traced, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  

The undocumented migrants were released from Border Patrol custody and were given Notices to Report, which requires them to self-report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement within 60 days of their release. However, 47,705 migrants never reported themselves, the DHS reported to Senator Ron Johnson.

“Between March 21, 2021 and August 31, 2021, there were 104,171 noncitizens released with an NTR. Of these noncitizens: 49,859 checked-in with ICE (37,161 checked-in within 60 days, and 12,698 checked-in after 60 days). 47,705 did not check-in with ICE and it was greater than 60 days. 6,607 did not check-in with ICE and were still within 60 days,” detailed the report.

Previously, undocumented migrants who crossed the border received a Notice to Appear (NTA), requiring them to show up to an immigration court to begin the proceedings.

However, last year Border Patrol officers abandoned the NTAs due to the large influx of migrants and handed out NTRs instead. Once the migrants report themselves to ICE, they will be given a court date to appear. Failure to comply could result in deportation.

The move from NTAs to NTRs was intended to cut down the processing time and paperwork for each migrant found at the border. With NTRs, the process was cut down to less than 15 minutes.

More than 200,000 undocumented migrants crossed the border between March and August of 2021, the largest number in 20 years.