A Republican senator is demanding the Biden administration hand Congress all documents and internal communications related to its decision to release more than half a million illegal immigrants into the United States.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.), a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, instructed the Department of Homeland Security late last week to provide him and other lawmakers with internal administration communications detailing the exact number of illegal immigrants who have been shipped across the United States after being apprehended at the border this fiscal year. Johnson also wants to know the exact number of illegals who have been let into the United States with a notice to appear before an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, according to a copy of a letter sent to Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
"ICE might not be properly assessing these illegal aliens before releasing them into the interior of the U.S.," Johnson wrote, raising concerns shared by many in the GOP. "If true, ICE’s reported actions could threaten the safety and security of all Americans."
Johnson’s investigation into the escalating border crisis comes as the Biden administration grapples with a massive influx of illegal immigrants along the southern border with Mexico. Nearly two million illegal immigrants have entered the United States in fiscal year 2021 alone, and the Biden administration has been releasing immigrants into cities across the country. The issue has generated widespread outrage in Congress and could come to a head in the coming weeks as a group of thousands of migrants travel through Central America on their way to the southern border, where they will strain an already overwhelmed Customs and Border Protection agency.
In addition to the more than half a million illegal immigrants who have been released into the United States, DHS is aware of more than 344,000 "known got-aways," or individuals who evaded apprehension and are likely in the United States illegally with little way for the government to track them, according to Johnson.
"These numbers, which may be even higher, underscore this administration’s failure to enact policies to secure the border and has created an unprecedented migration crisis," the senator wrote.
The Biden administration "is not just releasing illegal aliens into border towns after CBP processing, but rather transporting illegal aliens from the border to cities within the interior of the United States," Johnson wrote.
DHS informed Johnson’s office earlier this month that CBP has processed 273,000 aliens and then released them into the United States with a notice to later appear at an immigration office for possible removal from America. ICE processed another 124,000 immigrants and gave them similar notices, according to DHS figures provided to the senator. Another 31,000 immigrants were processed under "other outcomes" and transferred to departments other than ICE such as the U.S. Marshals Service and state and local law enforcement. At least 102,000 unaccompanied alien children were also processed.
Johnson asked DHS, which still has not provided exact figures related to the border crisis, including the total number of illegal immigrants who have entered America in 2021, to provide his office by Nov. 2—and every month after—information on how many illegal immigrants have been released into the United States.
Johnson also wants exact figures related to the number of illegal immigrants who were released with a notice to appear, a notice to report, or via parole. Most aliens are required to report to CBP or ICE after their release, though, historically, a large number never do so and ultimately disappear into America. Because of this, Johnson is also asking DHS to provide figures on how many illegal immigrants fail to report back to the government after their release.