Homeland Security Chief to Testify on Capitol Hill

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Politics|The homeland information main heads to the Hill to support Biden’s borderline policies.


Migrant families waiting to beryllium  taken into custody aft  crossing the confederate  borderline  into Texas earlier this month.
Credit...Paul Ratje/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Eileen Sullivan

  • July 27, 2021, 8:17 a.m. ET

As the Biden medication continues to grapple with precocious numbers of migrant families streaming crossed the southwestern border, efforts taken earlier this twelvemonth to relieve overcrowding astatine borderline stations are resulting successful the unintended merchandise of thousands of undocumented migrants into the state who are disconnected the radar of migration enforcement officers.

The concern has fueled Republican attacks connected the medication for what they person declared a situation connected the border, and Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the caput of the Department of Homeland Security, volition person a accidental to present a caller defence connected Tuesday erstwhile helium testifies earlier the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

In March, Border Patrol agents successful Texas chopped successful fractional the magnitude of clip agents typically instrumentality to participate an undocumented migrant into the migration tribunal system. They did this by utilizing a papers not recognized by the courts that directs migrants to study to an migration bureau wrong 60 days to beryllium officially entered into the migration tribunal system.

Homeland information officials are present uncovering that galore of the migrants who received this alternate papers person missed the reporting window, leaving astir 15,000 migrants — astir of whom entered the state with household members — determination successful the United States and mostly nether the radar of migration enforcement officials, according to interior information shared with The New York Times.

Since March 19, erstwhile the caller argumentation began, Border Patrol agents person issued these documents to astir 50,000 migrants, the section said. That is compared to astir 63,000 authoritative charging documents the Border Patrol had issued betwixt March and June, according to authorities data.

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the apical Republican connected the committee, has said that contempt asking repeatedly astir the fig of mostly asylum-seeking immigrants who received this extrajudicial papers from Border Patrol, the section had yet to supply details.

“The papers an idiosyncratic receives is babelike connected installation abstraction and resources disposable to process,” Marsha Espinosa, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said successful a connection Monday night. She said adjacent with the alternate document, agents proceed to tally inheritance checks and cod fingerprints and different information. She said galore of the migrants who received these documents person been reaching retired to ICE and checking in.

Immigrant advocates and ineligible advisers person said they are telling the migrant families to travel the instructions and cheque successful with ICE careless of which papers they were handed by Border Patrol.

Still overwhelmed, Border Patrol agents proceed to contented astir 800 of the documents a day, according to the information shared with The Times.

Most of the migrant families person been arriving successful Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. Last week, a spokeswoman for Good Neighbor Settlement House, a crockery room successful Brownsville, said the enactment helped 268 migrants successful 1 day, up from an mean of 45 to 55 a time successful June. “We are decidedly seeing an increase,” she said.

Representative Henry Cuellar, Democrat of Texas, said the surge successful migrants crossing into the state done the Rio Grande Valley comes arsenic much Border Patrol agents are investigating affirmative for Covid-19. He said 1 of the main nonprofit organizations that has been helping to supply structure and enactment for migrants aft they are released from Border Patrol has stopped accepting much radical arsenic of Monday, arsenic cases successful the portion are connected the rise.

More than fractional of the postulation connected the confederate borderline betwixt February and June has been successful Texas, wherever families and children from Central America person been entering the state successful precocious numbers, according to Border Patrol data.

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott, Republican of Texas, directed instrumentality enforcement officials to commencement arresting migrants for trespassing to code amerciable immigration.

“Texas has begun arresting amerciable immigrants who are trespassing successful Texas oregon vandalizing spot & fences,” Mr. Abbott said successful a Twitter post connected Wednesday. He said the migrants were being sent to a detention halfway successful Dilley, “rather than being released similar the Biden Admin. has been doing.”

If the medication continues to usage the alternate papers portion borderline stations spot precocious numbers of migrants crossing illegally into the country, the fig of undocumented immigrants surviving nether the radar volition proceed to increase, Joseph Edlow, an migration lawyer and erstwhile lawman manager for argumentation astatine the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the Trump administration, said successful an interrogation connected Monday.

“To usage this successful the mode that it’s being utilized is akin to ending migration enforcement and making it wide that the onus is fundamentally connected the idiosyncratic to study themselves if they privation to,” Mr. Edlow said of the alternate document. The migrants who person morganatic asylum claims, for example, are not benefiting from the policy, either, helium said. “It’s astir similar a ineligible purgatory, wherever determination is truly thing going connected due to the fact that they’re not legally here,” helium said.

Miriam Jordan contributed reporting from Los Angeles.

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