Biden's 'catch and release' migrants — without court dates — total more than 15,300, Texas Democrat says

Biden's 'catch and release' migrants — without court dates — total more than 15,300, Texas Democrat says

April 25, 2021

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The number of migrants being fast-tracked for release without formal immigration court notices at the U.S.-Mexico border has reportedly increased by thousands since March to more than 15,300.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, said the surge of migrants coming to the border has raised the number of arriving people on the “honor system” up thousands from around 2,000 at the end of March, according to Border Report.

The released migrants are given nothing more than what’s known as a “385” form, or booking report, according to the outlet. The 385 form usually says the migrant needs to report to the nearest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement station within a certain amount of days. 

“It’s just a honor system that they are given and this is not the way it’s supposed to be,” Cuellar, vice chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, told Border Report last week.

“It’s just a honor system that they are given and this is not the way it’s supposed to be.” 

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, speaks in Washington, Sept. 12, 2019. (Getty Images)

Unaccompanied minors, who are not fast-tracked but always taken into immigration facilities run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are taking up space that would normally be used by other immigrants, according to Border Report, which cited immigration experts.

On Friday, Cueller wrote on Twitter, “If CBP expects more apprehensions this year than at any point in the past 2 decades, we need to create common-sense solutions that will address the current surge of migration.”

He said he had already introduced related bipartisan legislation with Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Rep. Tony Gonzalez, R-Texas. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement, “In some cases, families are placed in removal proceedings further along in the release process rather than while they are at the border patrol station. All families, however, are screened at the border patrol station, including the collection of biographical and biometric information and criminal and national security records checks.”

Migrants approach the U.S. border on Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas on March 2, 2021. (Getty Images)

“It will be interesting to see how many of those (issued) 385s are going to show up,” Cueller told Border Report.

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