ICE: 'Catch & Release in overdrive' as thousands of illegals freed in U.S.

Thursday, March 21, 2019
Michael F. Haverluck (

caravan 3The National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council warned President Donald Trump that its federal agents are currently being “overwhelmed” by the massive influx of unchecked illegal immigration to the United States via its southern border – forcing them to release illegals they have caught back into the U.S.

The commander-in-chief was notified by the ICE union in Texas that after illegals breaking into the country via the U.S.- Mexico border are apprehended and detained, they are simply being dumped off in the interior of America.

“In a letter to President Trump [this month], the ICE union wrote that the Catch and Release program – whereby border crossers and illegal aliens are swiftly released into the interior of the U.S. after being detained – is in ‘overdrive,’ as agents are forced to release illegal aliens en masse to make space for new border crossers who, likewise, will eventually be released,” Breitbart News reported.

Simply out of control

In fact, the rate at which illegal aliens are infiltrating America and being detained is overflowing ICE’s detainment facilities, resulting in agents having to let them go – in the U.S.

Written by active duty ICE officers serving on Texas’ southern border with Mexico on behalf of fellow ICE officers serving on the field, the letter notified the president about the dire situation along the border – going on amidst the ongoing Washington showdown between Democrats and Republicans over border wall funding.

“We regretfully write to inform you that in the midst of an immigration crisis on the southern border, your administration is squandering scarce ICE resources and playing political games with our officers, their mission and the safety of the American Public,” the ICE letter to Trump reads.

The letter goes on to remind the president that National ICE Council President Chris Cane personally alerted him on January 6 of the dire situation at the border, asking for his assistance – a warning, it indicates, that was not heeded, as evidenced by no assistance afforded by the Trump administration to date.

It also contended that ICE is not getting the cooperation and assistance from Trump that he assured the American public he was providing.

“You frequently speak publicly of the great public safety work ICE is doing under your leadership, [but] to be direct, Mr. President – the rhetoric doesn’t match reality, and we hope that this letter shows you the complete and total nonsense that is really taking place under the Trump administration on the southern border,” the letter continues.

Trump was then reminded about the multitudes of illegals the government is allowing to stay in the U.S. after they break into the country.

“As you know, every day, thousands of illegal aliens are being released into the United States by your administration – every day – thousands of illegal aliens are being released into the United States by you administration,” the ICE union pointed out. “’Catch and Release’ is not just happening – it’s in overdrive.”

It was then communicated that releasing illegals into the country is something ICE would like to avoid, but it was noted that it lacks the resources to detain and deport thousands on a daily basis.

“Catch and release must continue, as ICE doesn’t have sufficient custody space to hold the massive number of family units illegally entering the United States every day,” the candid notice impressed. “DHS resources on the border are overwhelmed.”

Political grandstanding …

The back-and-forth in Washington over the immigration issue was blamed for the current border crisis.

“Political games in Washington, D.C., have rendered the United States completely incapable of controlling its southern border,” the letter asserted. “While agencies like ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cannot control the agendas of political leaders, they have a responsibility to properly manage our resources – under the hand we’ve been dealt – in a manner that best provides for enforcement generally, and first and foremost, public safety. That isn’t happening.”

The ICE officials complained about having their hands tied to the extent of not being able to do their jobs – due to lack of support from an administration that prides itself as being “tough on immigration.”

“Under the current circumstances, CBP Officers and Border Patrol Agents must apprehend hundreds to thousands of immigration violators each day, and process the cases of those they apprehend, to include issuing notices requiring an appearance before an immigration judge,” the document states. “Again, as there is no custody space, the hundreds to thousands apprehended each day by CBP must be released to charitable organizations that facilitate their travel to locations throughout the U.S. In a nutshell, this is ‘Catch and Release.’ And this is where the utter nonsense begins.”

Without adequate funding and support, ICE insists that its operations on the border is an act of futility.

“The ICE union also explained an internal process of Catch and Release wherein ICE agents are technically tasked with releasing all border crossers and illegal aliens into the interior of the country – a policy that union officials write is ‘extensive, and costly,’” Breitbart’s John Binder noted. “In one instance, ICE union officials said between 500 to 700 border crossers were brought to an ICE border office by Border Patrol agents on a daily basis ‘for the sole purpose of serving the release document’ that will allow the migrants to be released into the country.”

Leadership’s failure to properly oversee and fund border patrol procedures was credited for letting the situation get out of control.

“If you or your staff disagree with the assessment of ICE officers serving in the field on the southern border … we invite you to personally come to the southern border and speak directly to our veteran ICE officers in the field so that you can explain to them why they are incorrect in their assessment that ICE resources on the border are being grossly mismanaged by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello,” ICE officers wrote.

Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of illegal immigrants are slipping through ICE’s fingers because the border crisis is not being handled properly with all the political grandstanding on Capitol Hill.

“[T]he recent expansion of Catch and Release by the White House has resulted in large influxes of border crossers and illegal aliens being released into the country with only the promise that they will return to court for their immigration hearings,” Binder recounted.

Rewarding law breakers with freedom …

It appears that the Trump administration is softening its “tough on immigration” policy.

“The Trump administration plans to start pulling back on a controversial plank of U.S. immigration policy in a busy border region, saying Tuesday it will stop sending some migrant families who illegally cross the border in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley to jail,” The Wall Street Journal announced.

Standard operations can no longer be performed as politicians continue to haggle over the border situation.

”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 Wall Street Journal’s Alicia A. Caldwell conveyed.

And the crisis at the border is getting worse and worse as Democrats and Republican leaders continue to point fingers at each other for the national emergency taking place at the southern border.

“While the Catch and Release program continues, the experts project that illegal border crossings for this calendar year will be more than three times what they were in 2017 – and nearly double last year’s total crossings,” Binder informed. “The projection predicts there to be more than 840,000 illegal border crossings this year, though Nielsen predicts about 900,000 crossings for the year.”

Spinning wheels at the border

It is argued that going through the trouble of taking illegal border breakers into custody is nothing more than an act of futility – just going through the motions.

“Under current policy, families who cross the border are detained while they await court proceedings,” The Hill explained. “Families typically get released after a maximum of 20 days, as families with children can't be detained for longer than that under federal law.”

With detention facilities reaching full capacity, it is merely wishful thinking that those being released will return for their court dates to be brought to justice.  

“[T]he exact number of families who will be immediately released will depend on the room available in detention facilities,” The Hill’s Michael Burke pointed out. “Under the policy, the families who are released will first be processed by Border Patrol and – after they are released – they will be instructed to return for court proceedings.”

Some are beginning to wonder if they are just listening to doublespeak from the Oval Office when it says it is taking a no-nonsense approach to dealing with the current border crisis.

“The policy would be at odds with President Trump's opposition to the practice called ‘catch and release’ – in which families who are detained after crossing the border are later released,” Burke explained. “Trump has often railed against the policy, including when he said last year that border agents ‘are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release.’"

According to fairly recent actions taken months ago in the White House, letting detained illegals fall through the cracks by being set free is something that should not be happening.

“Trump last year also signed an order to end ‘catch and release’ – though the policy can't be ended by executive order and the practice has continued,” Burke recalled.

However, excuses were provided by the administration for its failure to take control of the immigration crisis as thousands continue to inundate the border.

“Officials told the [Wall Street Journal] that crowding and safety concerns prompted them to make the change,” Burke added. “[It] noted that conditions at detention facilities ha[ve] come under scrutiny in recent years, [as] multiple children have died in recent months in the custody of Border Patrol.”

Tens of thousands of illegals continue to flood over the southern border into Texas – and the border breakers appear to be winning the battle at the time being.

“Thousands of migrants have crossed the border near the Rio Grande Valley in recent months,” Burke maintained. “Between the beginning of October and the end of February, more than 58,000 migrants have been arrested in the area for crossing the border illegally …”



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