Migrant families cross the Rio Grande to get illegally across the border into the United States, to turn themselves in to authorities and ask for asylum, next to the Paso del Norte international bridge, near El Paso, Texas, Friday, May 31, 2019. The Border Patrol said it has encountered more than 180 groups of over 100 people since October, compared with 13 in the previous 12-month period and two the year before. (AP Photo/Christian Torrez)
The situation at the southern border has largely fallen out of the news. After the massive surge of illegal immigration we saw last year, crossings have dramatically reduced. Some of that is seasonal, some of that is policy.
But what’s not being considered is just how overloaded that previous surge has left the system. A new report details how bad it’s gotten, with ICE having up to 3.3 million cases currently backlogged. The information comes via ICE Acting Director Matt Albence, who says it will take 140 years for them to clear the books at the current pace.
ICE Acting Director Matt Albence said the border surge over the last two years added 900,000 cases to the agency's non-detained docket, which now totals at least 3.3 million. That far outstrips ICE's ability to track down and deport people. #TWTFrontPagehttps://t.co/NYljeC34IJ
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) March 12, 2020
The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Wednesday, that at current deportation rates, it would take 140 years to remove all the illegal immigrants who came in during the border surge of the last two years.
Matt Albence, ICE’s acting director, said the border surge over the last two years added 900,000 cases to ICE’s non-detained docket, which now totals more than 3.3 million. That far outstrips the agency’s ability to track down and deport people, he told the House Appropriations Committee.
“We arrested about 2,500 non-criminal fugitives last year. If we do that, based on just the numbers that came in the last two years, it would take us about 140 years to clear up that backlog,” Mr. Albence said.
This is what happens when we have laws set up that are so easy to abuse. The tactic heavily used was to illegally cross the border and then claim asylum despite having no legitimate reason to do so. Studies have shown that 80+% of asylum claims on the southern border are fraudulent, with most people actually being economic migrants. Such abuse has left CBP and ICE at their breaking point, with no hope of possibly fulfilling their duty to process all the new cases.
What this means is that most of those 3.3 million people will simply remain in the country illegally, with no repercussions for breaking the law. There’s no end in sight to this situation either. The Democratic party will not sign off on more judges, facilitates, or budget increases to speed up processing. They certainly won’t join the President in calling for people to stop coming. It’s left us with no real way to police our border. This is not how a sovereign nation is supposed to function.