Issues

Trump Plan to End Catch-and-Release Encourages Border Agents

Border agents are pleased with President Trump's plan to end a "catch-and-release" loophole in current border control policy, Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse reported Wednesday.

Catch-and-release is applied to illegal immigrants who fear persecution from the country they left. In these cases, the immigrants are allowed a work permit. Trump's latest executive orders on immigration aim to end this policy, and will suspend any environmental laws that would slow down construction of his planned wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.

"Agents say that if these orders are carried out they will radically change how immigration is enforced in cities and at the border," La Jeunesse said. "Beginning with the wall, I am told it will likely replace or supplement an existing fence in an urban area, and it could look like the concrete wall in Israel."

Ending the catch-and-release loophole will also make the border agents' jobs more straight forward, he added.

"Agents say this is the number one crisis on the border right now," La Jeunesse said. "Not Mexicans, but Central Americans who are trying to escape their failed countries by claiming a credible fear of persecution if returned home. Agents say most of the claims aren't true, they're looking for a job. But currently they are released with a bus ticket and a work permit."

Shawn Moran of the National Border patrol council said he looks forward to the change.

"We have eight years of finding excuses and reasons and loopholes to allow people to be walked out the front door of border patrol stations," he said. "We're encouraged that every sign we've seen shows that that is going to stop."

The immediate message the new policy sends is important, La Jeunesse reported.

"The point is to send a message to Central America that says: ‘Don't come, you're not going to go hang out with your relatives in Milwaukee for five years.'"

"What about sanctuary cities and work site enforcement?" Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked La Jeunesse.

"Well, you know, that's known in the business as interior enforcement," La Jeunesse replied. "Under President Obama this was almost nonexistent."

He noted that in 2016, out of 12 million illegal immigrants, the number of immigrants deported in cities fell from 250,000 to 65,000, and of 2 million criminal immigrants, 60,000 were deported.

"Trump promises to change that," La Jeunesse said, adding that the president would be "tripling the number of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents, cracking down on sanctuary cities, and re-writing ICE's own priorities, so they don't release low-level criminal aliens."

Hector Garza, a border patrol agent and president for the Local 2455 of the National Border Patrol Council, told Breitbart News that the wall, in addition to surveillance technology and more agents, will lower the amount of illegal immigrants, drug smuggling, and human trafficking that occurs at the border.

"We know we won't have a wall along the 2,000 miles of border. What we will have is a wall where it is needed," Garza said. "That barrier with proper manpower, resources, technology and other tools will be effective. But most important, for the first time we have a president that wants to secure the border."