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GOP Rep demands Mayorkas account for agency losing track of thousands of illegal immigrants


Daily Caller News Foundation

Republican Texas Rep. Lance Gooden is demanding Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas provide information over his agency losing the ability to track thousands of illegal immigrants released into the country, according to a copy of a Thursday letter first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Gooden’s inquiry centers around a recent inspector general report that found that DHS lacks the ability to track all illegal immigrants released from their custody into the U.S. interior, partially because of the large numbers coming into the country, and also because many of them use fraudulent addresses. Additionally, the report found that 177,000 migrant records “were either missing, invalid for delivery, or not legitimate residential locations.”

“Allowing illegal immigrants to use fraudulent addresses on release forms leaves hundreds of thousands of migrants untraceable within the United States. Since migrants’ stays at charitable locations are often brief, these addresses fail to be useful to law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” the letter read.

Gooden asked Mayorkas to provide his plan to improve the internal processes to validate addresses and track illegal immigrants released into the country.

Of the migrant records, 6%, or 54,663, contained no addresses, according to the inspector general’s report. Federal authorities also didn’t have the ability to vet the addresses.

“Not only does this prevent law enforcement from locating potentially violent offenders and terrorists, but traffickers can also easily escape law enforcement by listing these false or public addresses. The failure to properly vet and trace these individuals is yet another disservice to the law-abiding American public,” the letter added.

DHS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Gooden’s inquiry. However, in a previous response to the inspector general report, DHS says its authorities are vetting illegal aliens and that it isn’t capable of making the recommended fixes.

“Our immigration system is broken and outdated and Congress needs to fix it. Even under those outdated laws, the Department has improved how noncitizens are processed and vetted. Individuals seeking to come to the United States are screened by DHS and our intelligence and counterterror partners to prevent anyone who poses a threat from entering the country,” a DHS spokesperson previously said in a statement to the DCNF.

“The IG ignores legal and operational constraints that make it impossible for the Department to implement its recommendations. The report also excludes several recent DHS improvements to how we track and update noncitizen addresses across agencies,” the spokesperson added.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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