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200,000 illegal immigrants escaped deportation because of paperwork problems

Approximately 200,000 illegal immigrants escaped deportation under President Joe Biden because the Department of Homeland Security failed to file the proper paperwork before their day in court, according to a nonpartisan research organization.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University in New York released findings Wednesday afternoon that revealed the DHS had not filed the required documents, known as notices to appear, in immigration cases before the scheduled hearing date, which means the court has no jurisdiction to address the deportation.

“These large numbers of dismissals and what then happens raise serious concerns,” the report stated. “Troubling is the almost total lack of transparency on where and why these DHS failures occurred. Equally troubling is the lack of solid information on what happened to these many immigrants when DHS never rectified its failure by reissuing and filing new NTAs to restart their Court cases.”

The analysis revealed that the most affected courts were those in Miami, Houston, New York City, Chicago, and Orlando, where the courts were forced to wipe out between 5,000 and 18,500 cases at each location because legal protocols had been neglected by the DHS throughout the Biden administration.

Immigrants who cross the border illegally may be released into the United States and given a notice to appear, which mandates that they will be seen in court to determine if they will be removed from the country for the federal misdemeanor of unlawful entry.

Cases take a couple years to up to a decade to be heard, leaving immigrants to await a judge’s decision years down the road.

Across the four fiscal years that Biden has been president, more than 192,000 cases were dropped as a result of department mistakes, including 79,592 in 2022 and 68,869 in 2023.

“Ten years ago, DHS’s failure to file an NTA before the scheduled first hearing was rare,” the report said. “However, the frequency increased once Border Patrol and other DHS personnel were given access to the Immigration Court’s Interactive Scheduling System (ISS).”

TRAC hypothesized that the DHS scheduled hearings for cases that were not first in the court systems’ records before it had filed the notices to appear to the court.

While the move wipes removal proceedings for those involved, it also means immigrants who had planned to seek asylum no longer have a means to do so. Immigrants must be facing removal proceedings in court in order to make a claim. Without the ability to seek asylum, immigrants also have no way to obtain documents to work while in the United States legally.

The DHS could technically reissue a new notice to appear for each person, which would start the entire process over again, including for those whose cases were canceled in 2021.

The problem is that immigrants would not have a way of knowing that a new case was created and would be unable to know when or where to show up in court.

The DHS did not respond to a request for comment.

-Washington Examiner

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