The Obama administration has revived the maligned illegal immigrant “catch-and-release” policy of the Bush years, ordering Border Patrol agents not to even bother arresting and deporting many new illegal immigrants, the head of the agents’ labor union told Congress on Thursday.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said Homeland Security was embarrassed by the number of illegal immigrants not showing up for their deportation hearings, but instead of cracking down on the immigrants, the department ordered agents not to arrest them in the first place — meaning they no longer need to show up in court in the first place.
Mr. Judd said the releases are part of President Obama’s “priorities” program, which says he’s only worried about illegal immigrants who came across after Jan. 1, 2014. Mr. Judd said illegal immigrants without serious criminal convictions on their record only have to claim they came before 2014 — without even needing to show proof — in order to be released without ever being arrested.
“Immigration laws today appear to be mere suggestions,” Mr. Judd testified to the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee. “That fact is well known in other countries.”
Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, did not have an immediate comment on Mr. Judd’s testimony. The White House also declined to comment, with spokesman Josh Earnest saying he hadn’t seen the testimony.
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