The Biden administration has tried to avoid or downplay every aspect of the border crisis — and now it’s acting on the fringes of the law, according to a report Monday.
Border officials have been directed to “use prosecutorial discretion” when deciding to issue court notices to illegal immigrants, opening a loophole for the Biden administration to completely avoid detaining and deporting immigrants, according to Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that the decision to release some illegal immigrants without court dates is “unprecedented but legal.”
Morgan told the DCNF that prosecutorial discretion essentially allows the Department of Homeland Security to decide on a case-by-case basis who is and isn’t prosecuted.
“What that means, though, is that they’re making a decision now to apprehend an individual who illegally enters the United States, whether to prosecute them or not before releasing them into the U.S. never to be heard from again. There’s no reason for them to issue a notice to appear for a case they’re not going to prosecute,” he said.
Alfredo Lozano, a South Texas immigration lawyer, told the DCNF on Friday that most of his clients show up to court when notified.
“The immigration attorneys and nonprofits will tell them, ‘Look, you don’t show up, you don’t appear in court, it’s going to be worse for you. You don’t want to be in that position, you do want to show up to court, you do want to fight your case,'” Lozano said.
It makes the most sense for illegal immigrants to appear in court, even without a lawyer. That’s why, statistically speaking, most do.
According to the American Immigration Council, between fiscal 2008 and 2019, 83 percent of immigrants “placed in removal proceedings” appeared in court. Eight-six percent of families released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities from fiscal 2001 to 2016 also showed up in court, as did 83 percent of juveniles between fiscal 2005 and 2019.
So this isn’t about a lack of attendance or efficiency issues. The Biden administration is deliberately allowing border officials to avoid issuing court notices to migrants whenever they feel like it.
Morgan told the DCNF that the rampant overcrowding of CBP facilities might lead him to release migrants without an issued court date if he were the chief of Border Patrol.
He said issuing notices to migrants keeps them in custody for far longer, although ICE agents could be reassigned to facilitate the process.
According to Chris Cabrera of the National Border Patrol Council, the practice of releasing migrants without notices to appear began in the Rio Grande Valley sector of Texas, with the raw surge in illegal immigration proving too much for Border Patrol agents.
Cabrera told the DCNF, “There are too many people, and we’re not equipped to deal with this many people.”
He said Biden’s “catch and release” policy would only serve to “bolster” the open-borders messaging coming from the administration.
“The migrants are going to learn that our borders are reopened, they’re going to learn that catch and release is back on and the smugglers themselves will learn the same thing and will use it to exploit and convince people to come illegally because you won’t even be asked to appear after you’re released,” Cabrera said.
Unfortunately for Americans nationwide, Biden has already demolished ICE’s “interior enforcement authority,” according to Morgan, making it impossible for the agency to prosecute immigrants who miss their court dates.
Morgan told the DCNF, “You’re basically eroding any form of consequence and sending a really strong message that our borders are open, and that’s just going to result in higher numbers of illegal immigration.”
The former commissioner is absolutely right — the Biden administration seemingly wants nothing more than for illegal immigrants to continue to overwhelm American border officials while simultaneously making it impossible to prosecute them.
With more than 170,000 migrant enforcement encounters recorded by CBP in March alone, a surge that broke a 15-year-old immigration record, the Biden administration’s disastrous immigration policy will only further harm this country.
Now, we can only hope that the Biden administration will soon fly too close to the sun.
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