The White House Says Immigration Officials Don't Release Migrants. The Border Tells a Different Story.

'I had no problem getting across,' one Venezuelan migrant tells the Washington Free Beacon

Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border (Getty Images)
May 12, 2023

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS—White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Friday that immigration authorities are not "allowing or encouraging mass release of migrants."

Meanwhile, just four blocks north of the U.S.-Mexico border near a Greyhound bus station, the Washington Free Beacon encountered dozens of aliens who were dropped off by Border Patrol agents in the last 48 hours. Many of them waited for money to get a ticket to see their extended family, some of whom live as far as Colorado or Georgia.

"I had no problem getting across. I had the paperwork," said Raul, a migrant from Venezuela. Raul added that he did not fear Border Patrol agents when crossing the Rio Grande because he knew they would release him.

Jean-Pierre's comments came in response to a question about a Florida judge's decision to block a White House directive to release aliens who illegally crossed the border into the United States without court dates.

"The claims that CBP is allowing or encouraging mass release of migrants [are] just categorically false," Jean-Pierre said. "That is not what's occurring, that is not what's happening."

Judge T. Kent Wetherell disagreed. "Aliens are being released into the country on an expedited basis without being placed in removal proceedings and with little to no vetting and no monitoring," he wrote in his opinion.

Jean-Pierre's comments are untrue regardless of Wetherell's ruling. The practice of "catch and release" has been a commonplace practice by immigration authorities for years. More than two million aliens apprehended by immigration authorities have been released into the United States under President Joe Biden. A truthful denial that law enforcement releases detained aliens would constitute a dramatic reversal in immigration policy.

More than 68,000 aliens were apprehended by Border Patrol this week, the highest in U.S history. The agency also recorded 15,780 gotaways.