Immigrant advocates charge that the release of 50 migrants from Border Patrol custody in McAllen, Texas, was “intended to create chaos at the border and further President Donald Trump’s argument that there is a national emergency there.”
“Why do this now? It doesn’t make sense,” contended Zenen Perez of the Texas Civil Rights Project, according to the Los Angeles Times. “This is not something they’ve done before.”
However, a Border Patrol official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Times it was no political stunt.
He said there are so many illegal aliens coming across the border and being detained that the crowding could threaten the safety of both the migrants and law enforcement officers.
“It is a crisis,” he said. “It’s not a self-proclaimed crisis.”
He said the agency is making plans for similar releases at other sites.
The pushback from critics of Trump comes because of his declaration of a national emergency along the southern border. The president has cited not only the number of illegal aliens, but also the flow of illegal drugs along with gangs and terrorists.
The Senate, joined by 12 Republicans voted against the declaration, but Trump intends to veto the resolution. He plans to use various funds already allocated by Congress to begin work on border barriers.
The Times said that in February alone, the Border Patrol caught 66,450 migrants, a “38 percent increase from January and one of the highest monthly totals of the last decade. More than half of those arrested were parents and children, and 40 percent of those were in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The report noted the number of families arriving illegally in the Rio Grande Valley sector since October is up 210 percent from just a year ago.
The report said that routinely the Border Patrol sends migrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and many times they are placed in detention.
But officials say there’s simply no more space.
The 50 migrants in McAllen were handed notices to appear in court and turned loose to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.
The dispute is just one battle in the border-security war between President Trump and Democrats, who previously supported funding for a border wall.
One issue is that about 1 million already have gone through a court process and have been ordered deported.
Daniel Horowitz, the senior editor at Conservative Review, is asking why they are still are in the U.S.
He writes at Conservative Review that Americans are told “by the legal profession” that nothing can be done to stop “bogus asylum-seekers from entering our country en masse, obtaining catch-and-release, and remaining here pending the outcome of a court decision that may be years in coming.”
But he wondered why the Department of Homeland Security was not addressing “those who already went through this tedious process and have been ordered to be deported.”
This week, the president also won a court case over detaining immigrants who previously were convicted of crimes, and served time in prisons and have a deportation order.
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration, affirming that federal authorities can arrest immigrants at any time for possible deportation after they have served time for other crimes.
The decision overturned a ruling of the oft-reversed 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The lower court had ruled that any arrest on immigration charges must take place immediately after the immigrant is released from custody for another crime or he is exempt from ever being detained.