A memorandum signed by President Trump on Friday could be the beginning of the end for America’s longstanding “catch and release” policy at the border.
The memo gives the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies 45 days to detail “all measures that their respective departments have pursued or are pursuing to expeditiously end ‘catch and release’ practices,” according to The Hill.
In addition to other measures, the departments are also supposed to provide “a detailed list of all existing facilities, including military facilities, that could be used, modified, or repurposed to detain aliens for violations of immigration law at or near the borders of the United States.”
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have also been directed to identify additional means “that may be needed to expeditiously end ‘catch and release’ practices.”
The practice allowed captured illegal immigrants to be released from custody until their court date. “Catch and release” has been sharply criticized by President Trump and others because many illegals often don’t appear for their court dates.
In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called on Democrats to end their “staunch opposition to border security” and end their obstruction of “measures that are vital” to U.S. security.
“The safety and security of the American people is the President’s highest priority, and he will keep his promise to protect our country and to ensure that our laws are respected. At the same time, the President continues to call on congressional Democrats to cease their staunch opposition to border security and to stop blocking measures that are vital to the safety and security of the United States,” Sanders said in the statement.
The President has ordered an end to “catch and release” pic.twitter.com/rHmFfNFLHn
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) April 7, 2018