The Trump administration has been whittling away at the policy known as “Catch and Release” for two years. After several initiatives that severely limited the practice, the Department of Homeland Security announced they would be completely ending the policy next week.
“Catch and Release” grew out of several court decisions that restricted immigration authorities in the way they handled captured illegals. Limiting the time an illegal alien could spend in detention, which forced officials to affect their release, meant that basically all the government could do was hand the illegal a piece of paper telling them when they had to appear in court and release them into the interior of the U.S.
That practice will now end.
“With some humanitarian and medical exceptions, DHS will no longer be releasing family units from Border Patrol Stations into the interior,” McAleenan said Monday, according to a DHS press release. “This means that for family units, the largest demographic by volume arriving at the border this year, the court-mandated practice of catch and release, due to the inability of DHS to complete immigration proceedings with families detained together in custody, will have been mitigated.”
“Heartless and cruel,” right? Anyone who says that has no idea what they’re talking about. In fact, what’s “heartless and cruel” is the overwhelming surge of migrants at the border who have swamped U.S. immigration facilities to overflowing, causing a humanitarian crisis that the government must address by trying to slow the number of migrants trying to enter the country.
To date, authorities have apprehended or encountered more than 920,000 migrants at the U.S. southern border this fiscal year. The vast majority of them are family units from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and many of them lodge an asylum claim once Border Patrol apprehends them. There are now over 1 million active cases backlogged in the U.S. immigration court system.
Most of the family units will go to Mexico to await adjudication of their cases. With a million backlogged cases, it may be five years before the families will be able to plead their case in front of a judge.
Open borders advocates are using this humanitarian crisis as a club to bludgeon the administration into adopting more lenient entry policies. They have whipped up hysteria over the actions of ICE to manage an unmanageable situation on the border by accusing agents of being Nazis, or worse. And they have gone to court to blunt every single government initiative to deal with the crisis by slowing or stopping the massive flow of humanity that still streams toward our borders.
Slowly, the administration’s policies are working. The tide from Central America is ebbing and some sort of order is returning to the border. With the policies now in place, and some others being decided by the courts, the crisis is diminishing.
There is still the problem of having to deal with several million asylum seekers. But at least the humanitarian crisis will have eased considerably.