The Border Patrol released 250 migrants on Tuesday and Wednesday and expects to free hundreds more in coming days because there is no room to hold them.
Normally, the agency would transfer the migrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be “processed” and in many cases placed in detention facilities. But officials said Wednesday that a recent influx of Central American families has led to a severe shortage of space, L.A. Times reports.
Immigrant advocates (LIBS) suggested the releases were intended to sow confusion at the border and further President Trump’s argument that there is a national emergency there.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen warned earlier this month the migration crisis on the southern border is “spiraling out of control” and predicted that crisis will “get even worse” in the coming months.
She also said Customs and Border Protection is on track to apprehend almost 1 million illegal immigrants at the border this year.
“In February, we saw a 30 percent jump over the previous month, with agents apprehending or encountering nearly 75,000 aliens, This is an 80 percent increase over the same time last year. And I can report today that CBP is forecasting the problem will get even worse this spring as the weather warms up.
We want to strengthen legal immigration and welcome more individuals through a merit-based system that enhances our economic vitality and the vibrancy of our diverse nation. We also will continue to uphold our humanitarian ideals, But illegal immigration is simply spiraling out of control and threatening public safety and national security.” ~ — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen
ICE drops off several bus loads of migrants at corner where PHX Greyhound bus station is.
Greyhound no longer allows them in without a ticket. Hundreds of children and families sat outside in the parking lot.
— Brian Kae (@BKFox10) March 19, 2019
Border patrol officers will start releasing many of the myriad migrants crossing the Rio Grande without even going through the formalities of temporary detention or strapping removable tracking-devices to the migrants’ ankles, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The policy comes as the migrant wave is expected to reach 100,000 this month, and shortly after Congress again refused to seriously fund a border wall or to fund additional detention beds for migrants, to penalize companies which hire illegals, or to reform border laws or even to bar the courts from cutting loopholes in the border laws. The Wall Street Journal reported:
Starting this week, hundreds of families caught each day in that area are being released by Border Patrol agents, instead of being handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for potentially longer detention, government officials said. The exact number will depend on how many there is room for in ICE detention facilities, which have filled up as a record volume of families are crossing the border.
The officials said they are making the change because of crowding and safety concerns. The conditions under which the federal government detains migrant families, particularly those with young children, have drawn frequent criticism in the past few years. Two migrant Guatemalan children died in Border Patrol custody in December….
Under the new policy, some families will be processed by the Border Patrol and then released and ordered to show up later to start their deportation or asylum cases.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.