During his presidential campaign last year, Donald Trump promised that he would crack down on illegal immigration. Unfortunately, one year later, very little immigration reform has actually taken place. Now, border patrol agents have revealed that the controversial catch-and-release immigration policy has been reinstated in Texas.
The Trump administration reinstated a de facto catch-and-release policy for illegal immigrants nabbed crossing the border in Texas, with Border Patrol agents being told Wednesday not to even bother turning them over for speedy deportation because there was no bed space, a top agent said.
The problem, said Brandon Judd, an agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, is that illegal immigration has surged once again after dipping during the early months of President Trump’s tenure.
That has left the deportation agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, struggling to find beds to hold the illegal immigrants. As a result, Border Patrol agents who bring apprehended people to ICE are turned away.
“We’re going to have to release them out our front door,” Mr. Judd said. “Even if we try to turn them over to them, they’re just not going to take them.”
He said ICE’s San Antonio office, which handles most of the traffic from the Texas border, said it would have to refuse to take any family units the Border Patrol tries to turn over and will soon reject even non-family migrants.
[...] Mr. Judd said the rhetoric from the president is good and had an immediate effect earlier this year in persuading migrants not to bother making the journey north. The Border Patrol set a modern-day record low of slightly more than 11,100 illegal immigrants nabbed in April.
But as catch-and-release continued, word seeped back to home countries and the effects of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric waned. More than 26,000 illegal immigrants were arrested at the border last month, Mr. Judd said.
“The word got back to all of these countries that hey, the catch-and-release hasn’t ended,” he said. “The people that are supposed to be enforcing President Trump’s policy, they’re just not. They’re not following through on the promises he made.”
What is the point of even having laws if they aren't going to be enforced? No wonder so many illegal aliens are willing to risk crossing the border: if they end up getting caught, they know they'll simply be released and have the chance to try again.
The catch-and-release policy played a huge role in the 2014 border surge, which saw almost 70,000 unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border.
The border policies are so relaxed that tens of thousands of parents from destitute countries were willing to send their children across the border alone, knowing that they would either make it to the U.S. and find a better life, or would just be sent back and not be any worse off than they were before.
In addition, this policy lowers the incentive of trying to come to the United States legally. Why would an immigrant waste time applying for citizenship when they could just try sneaking across the border with no risk of jail time?
Furthermore, this policy makes it easier for potential terrorists to come into the U.S.
In the end, it is crucial that the U.S. abandon the catch-and-release policy if we ever want to stop immigrants from being able to enter the U.S. illegally so easily.