The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security discovered in an effort to quickly process migrants in overcrowded Border Patrol facilities, agents many times do not assign alien registration numbers, also known as A-numbers, and the order to forgo that part of processing came from Border Patrol's headquarters.
According to the IG's report, A-numbers are necessary to create alien files, which are used to provide a complete history of a migrant’s immigration encounters:
"We found that Border Patrol did not issue A-numbers for 107 of 384 migrants, most of whom were paroled into the country or issued Notices to Report. Agents did not always assign A-numbers because they were trying to expedite processing and move migrants out of Border Patrol facilities that were over capacity. Additionally, Border Patrol did not always maintain migrants’ alien files. Border Patrol and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could not provide 80 of the requested 384 migrant files because they were either lost, disposed of, or in transit. Border Patrol disposed of the files because they did not have A-numbers and were unaware of record retention requirements."
"These issues occurred because CBP has not issued a formal policy detailing how to expedite the processing of migrants as apprehension numbers continue to rise. As the Department of Homeland Security continues to experience surges, it is important that Border Patrol establish formal policies detailing expedited processing procedures to ensure proper documentation of screening procedures and adequate tracking of migrants released into the United States," the IG's report added.
"At it's core, it represents another example of the complete mismanagement of the border and how overwhelmed the Border Patrol is...they're so over overwhelmed that they're not looking for opportunities to secure the border and stem the flow of illegal immigration. All they're doing is looking for opportunities to get better at processing and releasing," former Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told Townhall.
Morgan said while illegal immigrants are still having their biometric information being taken during processing, not having A-numbers to go along with biometrics makes the process of tracking people more difficult in a time where tracking has become extremely difficult due to the historic increase of illegal border crossings.