Border Patrol Releasing Illegal Crossers without a Court Date
FAIR Take | March 2021
In an unprecedented move, Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley Sector is releasing detained illegal aliens into the country without issuing them a court order, called a Notice to Appear (NTA). This move goes beyond regular catch and release, and sets a dangerous precedent for operations at the southern border as the Biden administration continues to eviscerate even the pretense of enforcing existing immigration law.
This move comes as the Biden administration continues to ignore the record-breaking surge of migrants at the southern border. Through the first five months of the current fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) logged 396,958 apprehensions at the southern border. For reference, in FY 2020, CBP logged only 458,088 apprehensions all year. We are on pace to eclipse FY 2019’s annual total of over 977,000, in a year that the New York Times described the border as being at a “breaking point.” Now that Biden is in power, the media treats the situation with complete indifference. Or, in the case of the Washington Post, gaslight readers by assuring them there is not a crisis at all.
According to a report from Fox News, “migrants are registered into the system with biometrical data taken and then are largely released into the public, in one instance, at a bus station in McAllen, Texas.” In response to this, 14 House Republicans immediately sent a letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, demanding an explanation for Border Patrol’s decision to summarily release aliens into the interior without so much as a court summons. Senator Tommy Tuberville also unveiled legislation to prohibit the release of illegal migrants without first providing a NTA.
Catch and release – the practice where CBP apprehends aliens and then releases them with an order to appear in court – is a bad enough policy. This goes far beyond that. It is all but certain that none of these illegal aliens will ever appear before an immigration judge – there is simply no way to track them down with the current resources available to CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Already, 90 percent of asylum seekers ignore their court dates. Without even a notice-to-appear, these aliens are as good as gone, free to disappear into the interior of the country where they will live comfortably in one of our country’s numerous sanctuary cities and states.
Worse, human smugglers and coyotes will see that Border Patrol releases aliens without NTAs and then spread the word throughout Central and South America that the American border is wide open. There is no doubt – this news will increase illegal immigration, and more and more illegal aliens will enter the United States without court dates. This self-perpetuating cycle will continue until the Biden administration has the courage to put an end to it by reinstating successful Trump policies.
As long as Secretary Mayorkas, his department, and the Biden administration as a whole continue to ignore the border surge for what it is – a crisis – then nothing will change. Apprehensions at the border will continue rising throughout the year and more and more illegal aliens will have a free pass to live in the United States, unburdened by the need to appear before an immigration judge and defend their asylum application.