KRGV, a Rio Grande Valley, Texas TV station, reports the Border Patrol is releasing women and children that recently entered the United States illegally if they are considered no threat to national security. The agency confirmed the releases, explaining the decision was prompted by an uptick in border apprehensions and already crowded detention facilities.
This week a KRGV news crew ran across a group of women and children at a bus station in Harlingen, Texas. Members of the group said they had just been processed and released from Border Patrol custody. They were given documents that allow them to travel anywhere in the United States and told they cannot work.
KRGV contacted Border Patrol officials about the group and received this statement:
"In an effort to maximize resources and focus on the uptick in apprehensions, [the local] Border Patrol Sector has begun implementing several steps. These efforts include, transporting detainees to other sectors within the South Texas Campaign, temporary reassignment of agents from other sectors [here] and temporarily issuing a notice to appear for immigration hearings to family units posing no threat to national security."
Officials told KRGV that detention-center overcrowding also factored into the decision. They said most of the illegal aliens processed and released locally were from Central and South America. Those from Mexico are sent to Laredo or Del Rio for processing but many are still released.
Last July, the station began reporting on problems with the catch-and-release policy. One illegal alien was released in Brownsville and told to report to court in Dallas. But the person absconded and moved to New York City. KRGV said it’s unclear how many others disappear after their release.
After the initial report this week KRGV contacted the local chapter of the National Border Patrol Council. The vice-president of the local union issued this statement:
"Rank and file Border Patrol Agents are frustrated with the catch and release process as a whole. It seems to be a quick fix to alleviate the overcrowding issue yet it is causing greater issues. Illegals will continue to cross and strain the system in order to exploit the weaknesses in the system.
“Our Nation's Borders are not secure despite what some will try and have you believe. Countless hours are spent on these issues, yet who knows what we are not catching. How many violent criminals are getting through the lines, exploiting the weakness caused by the mass influx of what some label as a low threat?
“Our agents work tirelessly to secure our Nation's Borders only to see countless illegal aliens released with nothing more than a halfhearted promise to appear in court. The Union has received many calls from agents who are sick and tired of seeing this take place.
“The Border Patrol has sent reinforcements to the area to help alleviate the pressure, but more is needed. More detention space and agents on the ground are needed, as well as pay reform to save the Border Patrol money and freeing up agents to get back in the field."
Also see an account in Breitbart.
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