Border Patrol ordered agents not to assign migrants registration numbers to clear over-crowded facilities

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In the fiscal year 2021, Border Patrol did not always assign migrants an “alien registration number” before they were released into the U.S. in an effort to speed up processing and move migrants out of overcrowded facilities, according to a new report.

The report, from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General, found that U.S. Border Patrol within U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) followed screening procedures to prevent migrants with “serious criminal backgrounds” or individuals on the terrorist watch list from entering the U.S.

FILE: Migrants attempting to cross in to the U.S. from Mexico are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the border August 20, 2022 in San Luis, Arizona.  (Nick Ut/Getty Images)

However, the OIG report also determined that Border Patrol did not always assign alien registration numbers, or “A-numbers,” which are necessary to create files on illegal immigrants

A-numbers allow immigration officials and law enforcement to track and locate a migrant’s file for a complete history of their immigration encounters. It also contains critical documents such as immigration forms, agent narratives of apprehension, and records checks. 

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