Border Crisis Forces Massive Catch and Release Policy

Saturday, March 30, 2019
By Paul Martin

30 Mar 2019

The ongoing border crisis forced Border Patrol officials to implement a massive catch and release program where most migrants illegally crossing the border are released shortly after being processed. The policy comes as Border Patrol officials estimate that more than 100,000 migrants will be apprehended in March.

Border Patrol officials in multiple sectors announced a policy this week to being releasing thousands of migrants on their own recognizance shortly after they are apprehended at the border. The move comes in response to the massive increase of illegal border crossings by migrant families from Central America.

“This demographic is challenging in that they cannot be immediately returned to their country of origin,” Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials stated. “U.S. Border Patrol processing centers are not designed to house the current numbers of families and small children that we are encountering.”

During a press conference late this week, Yuma Sector Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Carl Landrum announced a similar policy for his Arizona sector. He blamed the dramatic surge in migrant families and minors that are overwhelming his sector’s agents and resources.

“Due to capacity issues at our stations and the ongoing humanitarian crisis nationwide, Border Patrol has begun identifying detainees for potential release in Yuma with a notice to appear for their immigration hearings,” Yuma Sector officials said in a written statement.

Landrum said his sector is on pace to apprehend 60,000 migrants this fiscal year. He explained that this is the highest level since 2007 when constructions crews built border barriers that greatly reduced illegal border crossings in the Yuma Sector, AZCentral reported. The deputy chief said his sector has the capacity to hold about 400 migrants at a time.

The migrants being released reportedly have family members living in the U.S. and have cleared medical screening and criminal background checks, officials reported.

The same policy has also been implemented in the Rio Grande Valley Sector in South Texas where the largest number of migrant families and minors cross on a daily basis. Earlier this week, agents in this sector apprehended nearly 1,700 migrants in a single day, Breitbart News reported.

Hidalgo County, Texas, Sheriff Eddie Guerra says human smugglers are exploiting the current laws and advertising with pamphlets in Central America. “In Central American countries they have pamphlets and flyers that tell them, ‘Just Come to America! You will be processed and released, given an opportunity!” the sheriff said in an interview with KGBT.

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