Officials last week spoke up about the Obama administration’s so-called “catch and release” policies blamed for hindering Border Patrol operations and encouraging illegal crossers from coming into the United States.
A recent letter from the National Border Patrol Council states a high-ranking member of the Obama administration confirmed to Border Patrol agents they have no intention of removing illegal border crossers that are being released with an order to appear in court.
Brandon Judd, president of the American Federation of Government Employees National Border Patrol Council, states in the letter published on March 21 he and two other Border Patrol agents met with Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss concerns about the administration’s policy of releasing illegal crossers into the United States.
During the meeting, which took place on August 26, 2015, Mayorkas confirmed to the agents that the administration has no intention of removing immigrants coming across the border illegally as part of the ongoing surge, according to the letter.
“Why would we NTA [issue a Notice to Appear to] those we have no intention of deporting?” said Mayorkas, according to the letter. “We should not place someone in deportation proceedings, when the courts already have a 3-6 year backlog.”
In the letter, Judd blames President Obama for undermining immigration laws and having his political appointees implement policies that contradict enforcement priorities. He also states this lack of enforcement undermines the nation’s immigration system and encourages illegal immigration.
“Rather than take the steps necessary to end the border surge, the Obama Administration is encouraging more to come by forcing Border Patrol agents to release unlawful immigrants into the United States with no intention of ever removing them,” Judd states.
Chris Cabrera, local Border Patrol council president, said there are no consequences for people coming over illegally and the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent trying to divert illegal immigration are pointless without enforcement.
USAID, a government agency working to end global poverty, spent more than $141 million in fiscal year 2013-2014 in Guatemala alone, according to a 2014 Congressional Research Report. This money is meant to help the countries fight crime, violence and lack of opportunities to deter illegal immigration into the U.S. Congress is currently working out a new Alliance for Prosperity plan aimed at adjudicating more than $1 billion in aid to all of Central America.
In fiscal year 2015, about 331,000 illegal crossers were apprehended on the Southwest border, which includes the Rio Grande Valley sector, down from nearly 480,000 the previous fiscal year. More than two-thirds of people apprehended in the RGV sector are from Central America, according to BP statistics.