October 17, 2022

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/>.

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Falsification or Negligent Handling of Asylum Paperwork

Accountability Status: GAO Investigation Closed

Victim Classification: