Border Patrol agents failed to assign an official “alien registration number” to up to one-fourth of illegal immigrants released into the United States between April and September last year, according to a new report issued by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general (IG).
An alien registration number, or A-number, is meant to be provided to every illegal alien being released into the United States, as well as all legal immigrants. It’s a unique number assigned to each individual that allows immigration authorities and law enforcement to track that person’s case and status.
The IG’s office selected 384 illegal aliens for its report, from a total number of 384,938 potentially released into the United States during the six-month period.
“We found that Border Patrol did not issue A-numbers for 107 of 384 migrants, most of whom were paroled into the country or issued Notices to Report,” the Sept. 21 report states.
The IG’s office noted that it was unable to extrapolate the results to the whole population as the missing A-numbers applied to members of a family. The agency didn’t respond to a request asking for more clarification as to why the results couldn’t be extrapolated.
As border regions became overcrowded and overwhelmed last year, Washington leadership instructed Border Patrol agents to release entire families with just the “head of household” given an A-number.
When agents apprehend illegal aliens, they usually take biographical information such as fingerprints and photographs to attach to each person’s file that has its own unique A-number. However, no biographical information is taken for children under the age of 14.
The IG’s office said it conducted its report “to determine to what extent CBP [Customs and Border Protection] screened migrants to prevent criminals, drug traffickers, and terrorist watch list individuals from entering the United States along the Southwest Border.”
In total, during fiscal year 2021, Border Patrol apprehended more than 1.6 million illegal aliens at the southern border. This fiscal year it will reach more than 2 million.