The much-maligned ‘catch-and-release’ policy for undocumented immigrants used during George W Bush’s presidency has been revived by President Obama’s administration; subsequently, it has ordered Border Patrol agents not to arrest or deport many of the recent undocumented arrivals, Congress was told by the agents’ labor union head yesterday.
The National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd claims that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was embarrassed by the amount of undocumented immigrants who failed to attend deportation hearings; however, rather than crack down on the immigrants, the DHS instead ordered agents not to make arrests to start with so that the immigrants do not have to show up for court.
Judd says the releases are a part of the “priorities” program enacted by the president that concerns itself primarily with undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States after January 1st 2014. Judd claims that undocumented immigrants with no serious criminal convictions can be released without arrest simply by claiming that they came to the country prior to this date, even if they have no corroborating evidence. “Immigration laws today appear to be mere suggestions,” Judd claimed.
Tens of thousands of unaccompanied undocumented immigrant minors and a similar number of families have crossed the border from Central America in recent years. Advocates insist they are fleeing from horrific gang violence in their own countries; however, Judd and the Center for Immigration Studies’ policy studies director, Jessica Vaughan, claim criminal cartels are behind the surge, with the aim being to distract agents from drug smuggling operations.