The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a report entitled “ICE Faces Barriers in Timely Repatriation of Detained Aliens.” In reviewing the cases of over 3,000 immigrants who were not removed from the U.S. within 90 days of receiving a final order of removal, OIG concluded that some of the factors resulting in these delays are beyond the control of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Some of these factors include the lengthy nature of immigrants appealing their removal orders and the fact that foreign governments are not always cooperative in issuing the appropriate travel documents and arrangements.
However, OIG also noted that some of ICE’s internal problems exacerbated the issues concerning the timely removal of immigrants from the country. Specifically, ICE has major issues with staffing and technology that inhibit its efforts to timely remove these individuals. ICE continues to have issues with inadequate staffing, high turnover rates, and heavy caseloads, which impacts their management of immigrants pending removal from the country.
Furthermore, ICE uses a cumbersome manual process to make international flight plans for immigrants to return to their native countries, rather than utilizing available technology to complete these arrangements. ICE also has developed a tool designed to track statistics on the efficiency of removal operations, but its metrics are incomplete and do not track some of the necessary information.
Overall, OIG made five recommendations for ICE to improve its removal operations:
- Develop a new staffing model that assigns sufficient officers to manage immigrants who are subject to removal orders
- Conduct training for all Enforcement and Removal Operations staff about the importance of obtaining proper identity documents from immigrants at the time of apprehension
- Develop a web-based flight managements and tracking system to expedite removal
- Use an electronic system as a source of official removal statistics
The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal representation of countless individuals facing various immigration-related issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys today.