FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Wrote Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, accusing the department of “blatant violation” of immigration law by releasing migrants inside states -Unis without hearing date.
Biggs, who is part of the Border Security Caucus, was responding to Mayorkas testimony last week about how migrants are routinely released without a court date – a notice of appearance – instead, they were told to register with their local immigration and customs service. (ICE) instead.
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“It is our policy to issue a notice of appearance to those authorized to enter the United States to make their request,” Mayorkas said at a Senate hearing last week. “Ideally, they get a notice to appear at the border patrol station. If we are unable to do so, the goal is to send them a notice of appearance at the immigration and customs office to which they are directed.
Customs and border protection previously said CBP issued notices to appear at ICE offices due to overcrowding at border patrol posts as the provision of NTA can take hours.
“To reduce confusion, as of March 24, CBP included a note on the form providing such people with a notice to come to an ICE office to begin their immigration process,” said the agency in April.
“Aliens are freed from DHS [Department of Homeland Security] custody without being issued NTAs and DHS unreasonably expects these illegal entrants to voluntarily report to ICE to receive a charge document and court date, “Biggs wrote on Wednesday.” This is stupid and an abdication of your legal obligation. “
Biggs points to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that ineligible aliens must be detained pending their expedited removal from the United States. He says the wording is clear that “detention is compulsory”.
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“Notwithstanding very specific exceptions, the INA does not allow DHS to simply release aliens en masse inside the United States without scheduling a hearing with immigration courts,” he argues. “So your decision to release hundreds of thousands of aliens in the United States without NTA is a gross violation of the law.”
Biggs is asking DHS to respond by indicating how many migrants reported to ICE after being released without an NTA, and how many of those who went unreported were arrested and deported.
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“Secretary Mayorkas must be held accountable. The Biden administration’s refusal to tackle chaos on the southern border is causing the crisis to worsen every day,” Biggs said in a statement to Fox. “Instead of inducing illegal aliens to cross our border, he must apply the law and guarantee the sovereignty of our nation.”
DHS told Fox it responds to Congressional correspondence through official channels.
The letter comes as Republicans put increasing pressure on Mayorkas for his handling of the southern border crisis.
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Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah, told Mayorkas last week that the DHS chief’s statements, in which he said he did not see the dramatic increase in the number of migrants as a major problem, were “extraordinary and extremely damning”.
Meanwhile, three Trump-era DHS officials on Tuesday called on President Biden to fire Mayorkas, accusing him of “reckless abandonment of US immigration law enforcement and securing our borders. “.
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