A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), summarized by the Washington Post, looked at “Notices to Report” that Border Patrol issued to 94,000 migrant family members released into the United States between May and September 2021. (The documents, which involved little paperwork at a time of heavy migrant arrivals, required migrants to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 60 days.)
It found that on about 60 percent of the “Notices” issued during the first 3 months of the process, Border Patrol agents had entered incorrect or incomplete address information for the migrants’ intended destinations. Entries often left streets or even city names off of addresses, as well as apartment numbers.
About 75 percent of migrant families required to “report” did indeed show up, which overwhelmed many ICE offices in migrants’ destination cities. GAO noted a lack of coordination between CBP and ICE. In November 2021, CBP stopped issuing “Notices to Report” and now relies more on “alternatives to detention” with electronic monitoring.
— “Southwest Border: Challenges and Efforts Implementing New Processes for Noncitizen Families.” Washington: U.S. Government Accountability Office, September 28, 2022. <https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-105456>.
— Miroff, Nick. “GAO Examines U.S. Border Practices in Facing Record Numbers of Migrants.” Washington Post, October 18, 2022. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/10/17/border-report-migrants/>.
A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that Border Patrol has been undercounting the actual number of migrant deaths in the U.S.-Mexico border region. (original link) For instance, Border Patrol in Arizona routinely reports finding roughly half as many remains as the Arizona OpenGIS Initiative for Deceased Migrants.
— Southwest Border: CBP Should Improve Data Collection, Reporting, and Evaluation for the Missing Migrant Program, GAO-22-105053 (Washington: U.S. Government Accountability Office, April 20, 2022) https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-22-105053.
— Ryan Devereaux, “The Border Patrol Is Systemically Failing to Count Migrant Deaths” (United States: May 9, 2022) https://theintercept.com/2022/05/09/border-patrol-migrant-deaths-gao/.
A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that CBP misspent much money that Congress had appropriated, on an emergency basis, for consumables and medical care for children and other migrants in custody (original link).
For example, CBP obligated some of these funds for goods and services for its canine program; equipment for facility operations like printers and speakers; transportation items that did not have a primary purpose of medical care like motorcycles and dirt bikes; and facility upgrades and services like sewer system upgrades.
GAO also found that CBP and Border Patrol location were not consistently carrying out health interviews and medical assessments, despite a recent increase in deaths in custody, including deaths of children. CBP also decided not to implement a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation to offer flu shots to those in custody.
The report added, “CBP does not have reliable information on deaths, serious injuries, and suicide attempts and has not consistently reported deaths of individuals in custody to Congress.”
From fiscal year 2014 through fiscal year 2019, CBP was directed to report on deaths of individuals in its custody to Congress. GAO’s review of CBP documentation and reports to Congress showed that 31 individuals died in custody along the southwest border from fiscal years 2014 through 2019, but CBP documented only 20 deaths in its reports.
— Southwest Border: CBP Needs to Increase Oversight of Funds, Medical Care, and Reporting of Deaths, GAO-20-536 (Washington: U.S. Government Accountability Office, July 14, 2020) https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-20-536.