Not Just Trump: Immigrants Coming To The US Are Banking On A Catch & Release Program

Tyler Durden's picture

As we reported last week, a looming Trump presidency has generated a surge in immigrants trying to cross the southern border of the United States.

From October 2015 to March of this year, the US Border Patrol apprehensions averaged 330 Central Americans a day, an increase of 100 percent over the same period a year earlier according to the Pew Research Center. The issue has even prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to travel to Central America to remind everyone in person that the US border is not open.

"I am here today to send a message that our borders in the United States are not open to irregular migration" Johnson said.

Despite the nice speech from Jeh Johnson, family holding facilities are full on the southern border, and the need for supplies at places such as Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley has skyrocketed.

"It's like 50, 60, 100, 200 backpacks that we need every day; 200, or 50 or 80 deodorants or shoes. Can you imagine coming up with 50, 60, 80 pairs of shoes every day? It's amazing." said Sister Norma Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.

Border Patrol agents are becoming frustrated, and the root cause of the frustration is that there is a catch and release program taking place. The time it is taking for agents to round up and process those who turn themselves in asking for asylum (just to release them into the US) is taking away from capturing the immigrants who aren't looking to turn themselves in to anyone - drug traffickers for example.

Union president Brandon Judd testified at a congressional hearing that if immigrants are arrested and ask for asylum, they're being allowed to get processed and move along on their journey to join family members elsewhere in the US while they await their hearing. The hearing itself could take up to two years, as the courts currently have a backlog of nearly a half a million cases. The reason being given is that the US court rulings restrict the agency's ability to detain those arrested.

"What happens is if you are arrested in the United States and you ask for any sort of asylum, what we do is we will process you, and we will walk you right out our front door, give you a pat on the back and say, 'Welcome to the United States.' And they're good to go," Judd testified at the hearing.

Chris Cabrera, a south Texas Border Patrol agent and union official says all the families surrendering to seek asylum are distracting his member agents, when they should be chasing drug and human traffickers.

"Our agents are so caught up with rounding up the ones that are turning themselves in, corralling them and getting them to the station, that we don't have adequate resources to get the ones that are trying to get away," Cabrera said.

And as it turns out, it's not just a looming Trump presidency that is driving the surge in immigrants to the US, it's an expectation of the immigrants that when they are arrested, they'll be processed and released, free to go in the United States.


Central Americans risk the journey because they know most of them will be admitted at the U.S. border and not locked up, as are immigrants from Mexico who cross illegally.


Wendy Villanueva is from Honduras, traveling with her toddler daughter. The 21-year-old says they fled Colón Province when gangsters extorted her small clothing business and threatened to kill her if she didn't pay up.


Villanueva and her daughter took buses to the Texas-Mexico border and surrendered to U.S. agents on the international bridge at Brownsville. They're headed to North Carolina to join her mother and sisters, who are also seeking amnesty.


"According to our countrymen who are here, and from what they learned, we expect that the authorities will also give us permission to remain here," she says, waiting to collect some new clothes and hygiene items at the shelter for the next leg of her journey north.

* * *

Whatever one's politics are on the issue, as we say time and time again, if the economy isn't performing well, violence will continue and so will the surge of immigrants trying to find safety and a better way of life. It's also worth noting, that no matter how effective a wall may be, if there is a catch and release program taking place it defeats the entire purpose of building a wall in the first place.

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SolidSnake961's picture

no way Trump believes the wall will work, it's all just talk to get votes

Aleksi22's picture

Does a wall work in Israel?

___________'s picture
___________ (not verified) Aleksi22 May 31, 2016 7:46 PM

its actually a double wall now

CC Lemon's picture

it didn't work in World War Z.

Attitude_Check's picture

If you have an effective wall, many fewer will penetrate it and ask for asylum.  Has the author failed logic 101?  Or do they simply have a blatent agenda that requires illogic to justify?

WeTheSheeplez's picture

Whats wrong with the website? If this is supposed to be an upgrade...Please put it back...

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I am sure that the Trumpster will put them up in one of his high end high rises...

robnume's picture

Anchor baby alert: see picture. When I worked at one of San Diego's premier hospitals as an E.R. admitting sec., illegal pregnant mothers used to hide in the what were then empty fields near the Lifeflight landing strip so that they could deliver at our premier hospital free of charge to them. Keep 'em comin' Amurica!! Must be nice to get free healthcare and citizenship all in one fell swoop!

robnume's picture

Arrest the "illegals" and put them in the jails TPTB are so anxious to fill. Seriously, I used to be fairly liberal on this issue but too much illegal immigration and here we are. Our politicians are purposely letting illegals - and yes, if you think you'd get "caught and released" as an illegal immigrant to, say, Mexico, think again - come into the country to drive down wages and any number of other unsavory reasons. In these hard times for native born Americans, there are few jobs that we would "not be willing to perform." Abolish H-B1 and H-B2 Visas. Why shouldn't we have first opportunity at employment? Until politicians and the companies that hire under these programs are held accountable by us nothing will change.

Nero_Hedge's picture

I think you have to undo Nafta and end the drug war of you want to really do something about immigration. I seriously wonder sometimes if we'd be better off scrubbing the borders all together at this point, at least we'd have full jurisdiction in Mexico then too. But seriously, free trade agreements don't make sense without an open travel policy between member nations- you're freeing up capital and production but not allowing labor to travel as well, causing all kinds of bottlenecks and pressure

HRH of Aquitaine's picture
HRH of Aquitaine (not verified) May 31, 2016 8:51 PM

Love the photo of the one woman ready to drop her precious little anchor baby in about 4 weeks. Another taxpayer scum sucker feeding at the government trough. Works great until the beneficent US middle class is gone.

Old Poor Richard's picture

They need to stop interdictions now!  Interdiction of migrants is nothing but a free ride to luxurious accomodations.  Dejected border patrol agents should go out there and service the cameras, pick up litter, wash their trucks, maybe look specifically for drug traffickers and UTTERLY IGNORE migrants, leaving them out there to find their own way to shelter.

Ms No's picture

Long slums and slumlording.  The Minutemen are going to be needing a lot of help at some point and if they don't like the new help, tough shit because at some point this border will have to be sealed.  Just ask Europe.  They figured it out when the looked out the window to anarchy.  Hopefully the minutemen are still legit.  If not, they will have to get out of the way.

Ms No's picture

Can we at least afford to build a few hundred new observation towers on the border?  Or is that raciss too?  People are willing to volunteer to keep their nation intact.  At this point people would be glad to donate materials and communication equipment as well.  Never mind, this is an invasion being used to destablize and the invaders are being protected.  Long TB and poverty for all.

Kagemusho's picture

The problem is the trespasser's naive assumption that the economic conditions will remain stable or even improve above their present doldrum levels. One more crash and the newly-unemployed Joe Sixpacks, who will need all the public assistance they can get, will not look kindly on those trespassers who are presently on the dole. Simmering resentment of the native-born towards those who are here illegally - and receiving public funding in the way of unearned benefits - could suddenly become explosively violent.

Lost in translation's picture

Machinegun them.

Hang those who employ them on meathooks or from streetlights with piano wire.