'PROBLEM OF NATIONAL SECURITY': GOP senators weigh in on ICE losing track of 150,000 illegal migrants
ICE losing track of 150,000 illegal migrants is effectively 'catch-and-release,' Marsha Blackburn says
By Hannah Ray Lambert, Matt Leach
EAGLE PASS, Texas – A delegation of Republican senators visiting the southern border criticized the Biden administration over a report that immigration officials lost track of 150,000 illegal migrants due to a lack of processing.
"Under President Biden, every single state has become a border state," said newly sworn-in Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama.
In December, Fox News uncovered a series of Immigration and Customs Enforcement training videos revealing that the agency lost track of 150,000 illegal migrants due to the Biden administration's lack of processing
"You're seeing the influx of fentanyl into our streets, our communities and our schools," Britt said. "When we can't keep track of the people and the issues that are created around that, it's a problem of national security, and it's one that we have to take seriously."
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi said she believes the missing migrants are "in our communities."
"They are throughout. Every state is a border state," she continued.
There were more than 2.8 million migrant encounters at the border in fiscal year 2022, according to Customs and Border Protection. And since Oct. 1, there have been more than 718,000 encounters, CBP sources told Fox News.
The Biden administration launched Operation Horizon in November 2021 to locate the 150,000 released migrants and send their official charging documents by mail. However, the ICE training videos show that border officials were restricted in their ability to locate and remove illegal migrants.
"That is called catch-and-release," Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn. "And that is a policy that needs to end."
To hear more from Blackburn, Hyde-Smith and Britt about the border crisis, click here.
Fox News' Kelly Lacco and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.