Data Shows How ‘Catch And Release’ Has Ended Under Trump

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
Font Size:

Immigrants awaiting court hearings to determine whether they will be deported were frequently let loose under President Obama. However, figures show that this is no longer the case.

The so-called “catch and release” policy of the Obama administration made it so that illegal immigrants frequently received notices to appear (NTA) in court and were subsequently released into the public. The then-acting chief of the Border Patrol, Ronald Vitiello, testified before a Senate committee last year that up to 55 percent of Mexican illegal immigrants with a notice to appear before a judge never show up in court.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was upset about this practice at that exact hearing, and during a recent speech said: “This is a new era. This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws and the catch and release practices of old are over.”

Data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University reveals that it is indeed a “new era.” Records obtained by the group show that 61 percent of immigrants given NTAs under Trump were detained, compared to 27 percent detained under Obama. These are for cases as of the end of March, as immigrants given NTAs under Obama have yet to show up in court.