The Biden administration’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was just caught in the act of majorly fudging the publicly available numbers for both tracked and untracked migrant detainees released through its “Alternatives to Detention” program, the Daily Caller reported.
ICE has not answered any questions or issued any public statements, but it did quietly change the numbers on its website after the glaring discrepancies were exposed by the media outlet.
Underreporting the number of untracked detainees
The Daily Caller first reported on Dec. 1 about the discrepancies in the reported numbers for ICE’s “Alternatives to Detention,” or ATD program, which was first launched in 2004 and allows some migrant detainees to be released into the country with GPS trackers, such as ankle bracelets or cell phones, in order to ease pressure on the limited resources of detention facilities.
That report revealed that ICE had informed participants at an ATD-focused symposium, predominately immigration officials and immigration-related nonprofit groups, that at least 49,459 illegal migrants had been released without any tracking system whatsoever as of Nov. 14.
Yet, according to ICE’s website as of Nov. 19, only 266 illegal migrants had been released without any tracking equipment — a massive underreporting to the public of around 18,000 percent.
Overreporting the number of tracked detainees
The Daily Caller reported again on Dec. 6 the obvious corollary of that underreporting — that ICE had grossly overreported the number of tracked migrants in the ATD program.
According to the ICE website as of Nov. 19, the agency claimed to the public that at least 56,805 illegal migrants had been released into the interior with some sort of GPS tracker, but per the numbers disclosed at the ATD symposium, that number was actually only around 8,118 — an overreporting to the public of around 600 percent.
The discrepancies in the numbers can be seen when one compares the previously posted FY2023 Detention Stats for the ATD program with the “fact sheet” that was handed out to the ATD symposium attendees.
Discrepancies quietly fixed without explanation
The Daily Caller noted in its Dec. 7 report that while ICE did not respond to repeated requests for comment, it did quietly update its website to more accurately reflect the reality of its ATD program, and according to the outlet, the ICE website now shows that around 7,905 migrant detainees have been released with a GPS tracker while at least 49,166 have been released without any tracking equipment.
Jon Feere, a former ICE chief of staff who now works for the Center for Immigration Studies, told the outlet, “The Biden administration has shown repeatedly that it’s willing to mislead the public about the impact of their dangerous, anti-enforcement agenda.”
“They’ve concealed data previously published by ICE and haven’t had a press conference at ICE headquarters. I have to believe it’s because they know what they’re doing is indefensible,” he continued.
Feere added, “This latest data controversy is very serious and every real journalist should be demanding answers and greater access to Biden’s immigration appointees. It’s certainly notable that a lot of news outlets in D.C. are okay with being ignored — it may even be instructive for future administrations.”
Admin has misled the public with false numbers
It has been obvious to all that the Biden administration has little to no interest in actually enforcing existing border security and immigration laws, as evidenced by the historically high number of migrants encountered at the border — most of whom are eventually granted entry — and prior policy efforts, thankfully blocked by courts, to restrain ICE’s ability to apprehend and deport illegal migrants in the country.
The Biden administration knows that this situation is not popular with most Americans, hence the grievously misreported public numbers that paint a much more rosy picture than the stark reality, and the administration fully deserves to be called out and chastised for this apparent dishonesty with the public.