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Tipsheet

DHS Finally Responds to Letter Sent By Rep. Andy Biggs About the Border...Eight Months Later

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) revealed this week that a letter he sent to the Department of Homeland (DHS) Security in May of 2021 was finally given a response over 8 months later.

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In Biggs' letter to DHS, he asked how many illegal immigrants were released without being given a notice-to-appear (NTA), which means a court date to process their claim to asylum is set before being released into the country. Due to the large volume of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S. on a daily basis, they have been increasingly being given a notice-to-report (NTR), which just states they have to self-report to their local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office once they reach their destination.

DHS told Biggs a total of 164,584 "noncitizens" were released from custody via "prosecutorial discretion" from March 21, 2021, to January 10, 2022, and of those, 94,036 were released with an NTR. Out of the 164,584 who were released, 110,176 have checked in to local ICE offices.

The letter was sent as the House Freedom Caucus held an off-campus hearing about the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

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Joseph Edlow, former acting director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, testified he does not know what authority the Biden administration is using to justify taking single adult males away from the border and putting on flights to head further into the country.

"Those are the ones where I'm really not sure what the authority is to release these individuals to outside the border in the first place," Edlow said, adding that he is assuming DHS is placing the adult men away from the border because they are illegally crossing in areas where the Migrant Protection Protocols are not in place.

"Why are they not Title 42? I have no idea why these individuals are not appropriate for Title 42...What is the authority then to release these individuals away from the border? There is none. There's no parole authority that exists under law that I'm aware of that would allow DHS summarily release these individuals and put on these flights," he explained.

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