The Department of Homeland Security is considering a policy change that would increase the number of illegal immigrants released into the US, according to a report.
As the country faces a crisis with hordes of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border, Homeland Security is planning to update its Alternatives to Detention program to be more efficient, Fox News reported Friday.
Launched in 2004, the program provides various levels of supervision on a case-by-case basis for those who are in the middle of immigration proceedings and don’t have legal status. It involves in-person meetings, unannounced visits and GPS monitoring, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website says.
Illegal immigrants have recently been released without Notices to Appear in court — and just notices to appear at their local ICE office.
Officials with DHS and ICE have been in discussion over what changes need to be made to the current system, according to communications reviewed by Fox News.
A DHS spokesperson insisted to Fox News that “the Biden administration has made it clear that the border is not open.”
“Our policy is to expel single adults and families,” they said. “In situations where individuals cannot be expelled, they are placed into removal proceedings and a custody determination is made, which could result in an Alternative to Detention program.”
Both federal and local authorities have been overwhelmed by the surge of illegal immigrants — including an unprecedented number of unaccompanied minors.
Brad Coe, the sheriff of Kinney County in Texas, told “Fox & Friends” that his office is understaffed and overwhelmed by the numbers.
“Right now, we’re seeing something unprecedented, I’ve worked in this county for 35 years, and we are seeing a vast number of human smuggling events there — human trafficking,” Coe said Friday. “I said yesterday, between one o’clock and four o’clock, my deputies had four human smuggling events happen. I’ve got six deputies to cover 1,300 square miles. So this push is keeping my deputies working overtime. We can’t sustain this.”
The sheriff also reported $100,000 worth of damage to property “where large groups of aliens are cutting fences on private property and walking through like they own the place.”
Meanwhile, new images have emerged showing illegal immigrants being transported from a hotel in Chandler, Arizona — where they’ve been being housed on taxpayer dime — to a nearby airport.
ICE officials have resorted to using hotels to house the migrants in order to deal with the surge.
The footage was obtained by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and shared with Fox News.
“Biden’s border crisis is real and it’s being forced into our local communities,” Biggs said. “These illegal aliens aren’t stopping in border states, they’re being given plane and bus tickets to anywhere in the country. We will not sit back and deal with this egregious exploitation of our border.”