New York City’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is fully booked for appointments to process incoming migrants until October 2032, according to an official document obtained by The New York Post.
With almost 40,000 migrants on the list, the backlog means that asylum seekers who are being released at the southern border and traveling to New York City will have to wait a decade just to start their immigration process.
Around 802,396 undocumented migrants who were apprehended in the U.S.-Mexico border from March 2021 to Feb. 13 of this year have been released into the country, according to an ICE statement.
Migrants who cross the border with asylum claims are usually given a Notice to Appear (NTA), which gives them a date to appear at an immigration court to have their case processed.
However, with the record-breaking number of immigrants crossing the U.S. border, the Biden administration began sending migrants to an ICE office near their final destination to apply for a court date.
The ICE document lists the “Top 10 Parole/NTR Appointment Backlog Locations,” with New York City’s ICE office as the most backlogged jurisdiction in the country with 39,216 non-citizens with appointments.
“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,” Thomas Homan, the acting ICE director from January 2017 through June 2018, told the Post.
New York City is followed in second place by Jacksonville, Florida, which is fully booked until June 2028.
Miramar, Florida came in third place with 24,747 migrants with appointments until January 2028. The fourth worst is San Antonio Texas, where the next available appointment is in February 2027.
ICE said that it is “working to address current processing delays at some field offices.” New York City ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office said that they have the capacity to process 400-600 migrants a day, depending on the complexity of each case.
Other metropolitan ICE offices with top backlogs included San Antonio (“fully booked” through February 2027), Atlanta (“mostly booked” through January 2027), Mount Laurel, NJ (“fully booked” through May 2026), Baltimore (“mostly booked through” January 2026), Chicago (“mostly booked” through February 2026), Indianapolis (“fully booked” through January 2026), and Milwaukee (“fully booked” through February 2026).
Related Story: NYC to Use Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal as Migrant Shelter