Trump signs order ending 'catch and release' of illegal aliens
Donald Trump signed a memorandum ordering agencies to end the practice known as "catch and release."
The Bush-era policy allowed for the release of border-crossers from detention who were without papers to await the determination of their status in court.
The memo signed by Trump orders the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with other agencies, to submit a report to the president within 45 days "detailing all measures that their respective departments have pursued or are pursuing to expeditiously end 'catch and release' practices."
The report instructs departments to share information on any contracts to construct or operate detention facilities along the border as well as steps taken to assign asylum officers at detention facilities, among other measures.
As part of the order, Trump is requesting "a detailed list of all existing facilities, including military facilities, that could be used, modified, or repurposed to detain aliens for violations of immigration law at or near the borders of the United States."
Trump has also directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to identify any other resources or steps "that may be needed to expeditiously end 'catch and release' practices."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders characterized catch and release, the practice of paroling detained immigrants who await a court's determination on their status, as "dangerous."
Not only is it dangerous; it makes a mockery of U.S. sovereignty. The notion that we should trust lawbreakers who cross the border to show up in court only to be deported is idiotic. The majority of those detained at the border never appear before a judge and disappear into the vast illegal alien underground.
President Obama vastly expanded catch and release from the policy followed during the presidency of George Bush to where immigration authorities were actually busing illegals into the interior of the U.S. Trump's order will end that practice.
Will the end of the program have an effect on the number of people trying to cross the border illegally? If a prospective border-jumper knows he will be detained until his hearing, he may think twice about trying to come into the U.S. illegally.
Of course, the end of this policy will be challenged in court. It faces an uncertain fate, given the proclivity of U.S. courts to frown on detaining anyone for long periods of time. But coupled with a hefty increase in the number of immigration judges being planned by A.G. Sessions, the wait times for deportees should drop substantially.