EXCLUSIVE: Sens. Thune, Vance Demand Biden Admin Explain ‘Mass Amnesty’ After 350,000 Asylum Cases Are Terminated

Left: (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) Right: (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Senate Minority Whip John Thune and Republican Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance sent a letter Thursday to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on them to explain the Biden administration’s “mass amnesty” of 350,000 asylum claims and more.

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the letter, in which both Thune and Vance slam the Biden administration over the border crisis, saying the president’s inaction has led to nearly 10 million illegal border crossings and the recent reports that state over 350,000 individuals have had their pending asylum cases terminated without either approval or denial since 2022.

“This is in addition to the unknown number of cases that were effectively shelved via administrative closure. We believe that this amounts to a de facto policy of mass amnesty that not only flouts federal immigration law, but may serve as yet another “pull factor” that continues to energize illegal immigration across our borders and fuel the humanitarian and national security crisis that continues to unfold under your watch,” Thune and Vance wrote in the letter. (RELATED: Biden Unveils Immigration Executive Order After Months Of Insisting There’s Nothing He Could Do)

(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

Here Is What The Lawmakers Ask In The Letter: 

  • According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, only 22 percent of fully adjudicated cases involving illegal entry resulted in final removal orders. Does this number exclude cases that were dismissed, administratively closed, or otherwise shelved, which would give the appearance of a higher rate of deportation?
  • What percentage of individuals who had their asylum cases terminated or administratively closed entered the country illegally between lawful ports of entry, how many used the CBP One application, and what was the average time each individual’s case was pending before termination?
  • When did the administration begin evaluating this mass amnesty, and what federal agencies outside of OHS and DOJ influenced, facilitated, or opposed this decision? Who were the OHS and DOJ officials and employees that oversaw or implemented this policy to shelve cases?
  • What was the vetting process for these individuals? a. How did you confirm their identities? b. Were they fingerprinted or documented with other biometric data? c. What criminal records were checked to determine their history? d. How did you vet these individuals to determine if they had committed crimes in their home countries?
  • Will individuals not selected for amnesty, including those who were removed from consideration as a result of their criminal history, face expedited removal or other enforcement consequences?
  • Following the termination of these cases, where did individuals travel within the country, did the department facilitate their travel, and will they be eligible for any federal support programs?
  • Do you have a way of ensuring that these individuals will not commit crimes in the U.S. following your administrative amnesty? Will they be subject to deportation if they commit a crime under their immigration status?
  • What is the department’s ability to locate any of these individuals should any derogatory information be realized at a later time?

“As secretary of homeland security and attorney general, you are responsible for enforcing the nation’s immigration laws and preserving the integrity of lawful immigration pathways, while playing an integral role in protecting America’s national security. By removing over 350,000 individuals from what should be a thorough asylum process that is seen to completion for each distinct case, you are sending a troubling signal to would-be migrants that the asylum program is so dysfunctional that the mere filing of an asylum claim, legitimate or not, may enable remaining in the country,” they added. (RELATED: Internal Guidance Reveals How Biden’s Immigration Order Is Ripe For Exploitation By Illegal Immigrants)

The lawmakers called for a response to their questions within 14 days after Mayorkas and Garland receive the letter.