President Joe Biden’s administration released nearly 95,000 illegal immigrants into the U.S. interior between January and October without court dates, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Nov. 16.
Instead, the illegal aliens were given notices to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 60 days. Typically, aliens are given a notice to appear in court at a future date to try to convince a judge to let them stay in the country.
Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 94,581 illegal immigrants were given notices to report, Mayorkas told a Senate panel in Washington.
“We have discontinued issuing notices to report,” he said.
ICE had previously declined to say how many illegal immigrants received the lower-level notices, which directed aliens attempting to secure asylum to show up at an ICE office within 60 days of being released.
ICE told The Epoch Times earlier this month it was mailing packets, including notices to appear in court, to approximately 78,000 aliens who were released with notices to report.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declined to answer why the remaining 16,581 aliens weren’t getting the packets, referring The Epoch Times to ICE. An ICE spokesman referred comment to DHS.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who asked Mayorkas for the figure, noted that an untold number of additional aliens had evaded detection and are inside the country with no notice.
“We still have a lot of people that we do not know where they are in this country,” she said.
Under the Biden administration, illegal immigration has exploded. Apprehensions at the southern border have already set new records for a fiscal year and a calendar year. About 1.7 million arrests have already taken place in 2021. A number of aliens have been arrested and ejected multiple times.
Of those arrested, about 1 million were expelled or removed and about 375,000 remain in the country, Mayorkas estimated.
Matthew Tragesser, spokesman at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, told The Epoch Times in an email that the figures Mayorkas laid out during the hearing were “alarming and unprecedented.”
“Mayorkas has eviscerated our interior immigration enforcement apparatus—meaning that once an illegal alien enters our country, they become virtually impossible to remove,” he wrote.
Mayorkas has issued a series of directives to ICE in recent months, including ordering them to not arrest illegal immigrants at “protected areas” such as food banks and shelters.
Approximately 1.2 million illegal immigrants in the nation have received final orders of removal, or deportation orders, from a judge.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked Mayorkas if they should be removed, given they have received due process.
“We cannot remove 1.2 million individuals, nor can we remove more than 11 million undocumented individuals unlawfully present in the United States who might not have final orders of removal,” Mayorkas said.
“I would not necessarily accept the fact that all of them have received due process,” he added. “I do believe individuals who pose a public safety, pose a national security threat, who pose a border security threat should be removed and we should be smart and effective in our use of resources.”
Grassley took to Twitter after the hearing, writing that the “rule of law requires enforcement of law,” and Mayorkas’s “refusal to do his job is one of the many reasons for Biden border crisis.”
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.