On Migrants’ Cold Trail, an ICE Paper Chase Runs in Circles



After months of moving illegal aliens into the country, federal officials are sending mailers to 78,000 of the migrants instructing them to show up for immigration court hearings. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says its Operation Horizon will initiate “removal proceedings in a timely way.”

A more timely approach would have turned back these individuals at the border.

ICE’s paper chase was launched because illegal aliens were not given notices to appear in court at the time of their crossing. Now they’re going to get those notices. Or maybe not.

The mailing list of 78,000 is a mere fraction of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have entered this country since Joe Biden moved into the White House. According to official reports, 61 percent of the 1.7 million migrant encounters at the border during the last fiscal year were expelled. That leaves more than 680,000 (roughly the population of Boston) who were allowed to enter.

NOTE 1: These numbers do not untold numbers of “gotaways” who elude apprehension and aren’t on anyone’s mailing list.

NOTE 2: U.S. immigration courts currently have a backlog of more than 1.4 million pending cases, according to data compiled by Syracuse University.

Confidently, ICE pledges, “Action will be taken against those that do not appear [in court], consistent with the law and department priorities.” Since the agency has been essentially sidelined by Team Biden, we’re not sure about its “priorities” these days.

Even immigrant advocates are skeptical about ICE’s mail campaign. “We know that when people are entering, they give [Customs and Border Protection, CBP] an address of where they know somebody in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that it is where they reside,” said Amy Fischer, advocacy director at Amnesty International USA.

Return to sender, anyone?

As Chris Magnus, Biden’s nominee to lead CBP, admitted at a congressional hearing recently: “The better practice would be to have individuals be noticed to appear” when encountered at the southern border.

This entire operation leads to one obvious conclusion: An administration that isn’t enforcing immigration laws at the border has no serious intention of doing so anywhere else.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.