'Catch and Release' 2.0

CBP releasing some aliens on the honor system

By Robert Law on March 23, 2021

A hallmark of the Obama administration's failed immigration policies was its pervasive practice of "catch and release". Under this policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers would release aliens apprehended at the border into the interior of the country with a Notice to Appear (NTA), the immigration charging document. With the immigration courts overwhelmed by the Obama administration's open borders policies, often these court dates were years into the future.

Unsurprisingly, these economic migrants who posed as asylum seekers referred to the NTA as a permiso, meaning a permit or permission to stay. Once released, a large share of these illegal aliens disappeared into the interior with no intention of appearing before an immigration judge. Mission accomplished. The Trump administration ushered in a new era of immigration enforcement and promptly ended "catch and release" and was generally successful in removing many of the pull factors that enticed illegal aliens to take the journey north under the guise of seeking asylum.

As the old saying goes, elections have consequences, and the days of enforcing U.S. immigration law ended at noon on January 20, 2021. Through a multi-step process, in less than two months the Biden administration has eviscerated the enforcement successes of the Trump administration and ushered in an crisis at the border. Step one of this process began in the first weeks of the Biden administration by reinstituting the classic Obama-era "catch and release" policies.

Not to be outdone by his predecessor, step two adds a nefarious twist to "catch and release" that will make it impossible to ever remove a large number of the illegal aliens. Earlier this week, Breitbart News reported (and CBP confirmed) that CBP in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas is now releasing apprehended aliens without an NTA. This reckless policy was revealed to Breitbart News by a senior level CBP law enforcement source who aptly described the plan as "insane, it is another pull factor that will overwhelm us." He added, "We are creating another entirely different class of aliens we will have to deal with years from now. We will never find most of these aliens once they are released."

In lieu of an NTA, these illegal aliens are reportedly being released after telling CBP where in the interior they intend to travel. These illegal aliens are on an "honor system" to report to the local immigration court once they arrive. Considering these economic migrants have already lied about being asylum seekers, you have to suspend reality to believe they will follow through with self-reporting to the immigration court.

In the absence of an NTA, these illegal aliens are never put on the court docket. And if they aren't on the court docket, the immigration judge cannot order the alien removed in absentia for failing to appear at the court date. Without an absentia order, DHS will not be able to promptly remove the illegal aliens once they subsequently encounter him or her. This practice all but assures that these illegal aliens will never be removed and someday will become the next "sympathetic" population that "deserves" amnesty because of their supposed deep roots in our country and other generic "contributions" to society.

According to Breitbart's CBP source, this "catch and release 2.0" policy is only being applied at the Rio Grande Valley. One of two things will happen next if this dangerous policy continues. Either it will be expanded across the southern border, or illegal aliens, coyotes, and drug cartels will wise up and funnel everyone through the Rio Grande Valley. If you think the border is overwhelmed now, just wait until hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens hone in on just one border sector as their golden ticket into the country.