In a bleak sign of the ongoing crisis on the southern border, New York City’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is completely booked through late 2032.
According to an official document viewed by the New York Post, the office has no available appointments to process migrants released into the country after crossing the border illegally for at least ten years, representing nearly 40,000 immigrants with appointments.
The disclosure makes New York City the ideal destination for migrants with shaky asylum claims who will almost certainly be denied, as they can live in the country freely until their case is reviewed.
“If you want to stay here and fight your case for 12 years [and] if you do your research or the cartels do their research … that’s actually pretty clever,” said Thomas Homan, the acting ICE director from January 2017 through June 2018.
The Biden administration released over 800,000 immigrants into the country over the past two years. All of those released were initially apprehended after crossing the border illegally.
To cope with the influx after Biden’s election, his administration issued immigrants a Notice to Report to the ICE office at their final destination after their release.
In late 2021, the administration switched tactics again, imposing an Alternatives to Detention program that allows released migrants to check in via phone apps while they wait for an appointment.
NYC isn’t the only location struggling with a backlog.
The documents seen by the Post show that Jacksonville, Florida is the second-most backlogged. It is “mostly booked” through mid-2028.
Also in Florida, third-most overstretched Miramar is “fully booked” through the beginning of 2028 with nearly 25,000 immigrants waiting on appointments.
“I think what [the Biden administration is] doing is they’re trying to flood the country with people who are not going to be able to get in front of a court,” said former Virginia-based immigration judge Matt O’Brien.
“I think they’re going to try and force legislative amnesty, making the same claim that they always do, which is, ‘We don’t have the resources or the political will to deport this many people.’”