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Katko: DHS Illegally Releasing Migrants Into U.S.

July 14, 2021

Katko: DHS Illegally Releasing Migrants Into U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC— Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called for answers around the Department of Homeland Security’s illegal practice of releasing migrants, who were encountered illegally crossing the border, into the interior of the country without a Notice to Appear (NTA). Katko cites the serious lack of resources CBP has to process the surge of migrants and the insufficient bandwidth of ICE to transport and detain all migrants in custody.

In a letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas, Katko wrote, “Additionally, media reporting indicates that U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) began releasing migrants into the United States without a Notice to Appear (NTA) or, in some cases, any paperwork at all, putting the responsibility on the migrant and their families to voluntarily report to an ICE facility to receive their NTA. What’s even more concerning is that in these same reports, only a small percentage of migrants have turned themselves in to receive a Notice to Appear, and the Department of Homeland Security has not been forthcoming with Congress or the public on the number of migrants they have released without an NTA.”

Katko continues to cite Secretary Mayorkas’ own words, saying, “During your recent testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 13, 2021, you testified that it is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) policy to issue a Notice to Appear to individuals who are permitted entry into the United States. If border agents are unable to issue this notice upon apprehension at the border, ‘the objective is to issue the notice at the immigration and customs enforcement office which they [migrants] are directed.’ While I appreciate your efforts to make it a priority to apprehend migrants who do not self report to an ICE field office, DHS appears to be violating federal law by releasing inadmissable migrants into the interior of the United States without a Notice to Appear.”

Read the full letter here.