More than 61,000 immigrants who illegally entered the United States through the southern border have been released into the country since President Joe Biden took office, according to government data.
According to Border Patrol data, 61,312 illegal immigrants were allowed to walk out of the Department of Homeland Security's stations in the months of February, March, and April, reports The Washington Examiner.
This number is up from the only 18 people who were let go during former President Donald Trump's last month in office.
However, at that time, the number of families arriving at the border was one-tenth of what it is now, according to CBP records, but traditionally, more people try to enter the United States in the spring months than they do in summer or winter.
The numbers do not include statistics for the unaccompanied children who are also being sent into the United States by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Meanwhile, border officials are "overwhelmed" and "don't have the time" to issue immigrants notices about where and when to go to court, said Rep Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.
Instead, he said that agents are giving immigrants papers telling them to contact a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office once they arrive at their final destination.
“It’s an honor system document. It’s an admission and release document, not a notice to appear," he commented.
But before the pandemic, families and adults who were found at the border were arrested by Border Patrol agents and taken to a station, where they were processed, notes the Examiner.
The families would then be turned over to ICE, which held them at family residential centers for up to 20 days before they would have to be released. As the massive backlog in immigration courts often made seeing a judge in that time period too difficult, ICE had to release families into the United States. However, they were given notices about when to show up for court, and the government tracked them.
Meanwhile, ICE could not provide the Examiner with data for the number of people it released into the United States since Feb. 1, but since fiscal year 2021 began in October 2020, ICE has released 20,400 people, who were not given documents telling them when to appear for court. That number is in addition to the more than 61,000 released by the Border Patrol.
Cuellar said it is almost impossible for the government to find the immigrants who have been released because people can't be tracked if they haven't checked in with ICE.
“I doubt they’ve checked 20,400 of those forms manually to see if they’ve shown up or not showed up,” said Cuellar.
Customs and Border Protection said its leaders are in "constant communication” with border communities about releases, which are done on a “case-by-case basis" when "external avenues to repatriate or transfer custody to another agency are exhausted, and after complete background checks and a medical screening.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.