The Department of Homeland Security says that thousands of immigrant families released after being caught illegally crossing the border between Mexico and the United States under instruction to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within 15 days have failed to do so. 70% of immigrant families have not followed these instructions, according to the Associated Press.
It is believed that as many as 41,000 undocumented immigrants have arrived in the United States and then failed to turn up at federal immigration offices. Several hundred families have been deported back to their home countries, with around 1,200 family members detained in facilities within the US. More than 860 people have been handed a final deportation notice; however, just 14 of these have actually reported.
Data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review in the Justice Department shows that around one-quarter of undocumented immigrants in danger of being deported from the United States simply do not show up for their hearings in immigration court. This number is just an “approximate snapshot”, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, with a great many deportation cases still pending.
Immigration advocates say that undocumented immigrants who might win asylum claims and be given the legal right to stay in the United States are being punished by being sent to detention centers. ICE officials continue to encourage undocumented immigrants to report to the federal government if they want to win legal permission to remain in the country.