Border Patrol agents fill out a checklist to decide which migrants are released into America, according to an internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) memo and the checklist exclusively obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The checklist, which was attached to a December 2022 email for “Safe Community Release,” states that in order to make community releases Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) must lack space, Border Patrol facilities must exceed capacity in order to allow for the release of migrants and the number of migrant encounters surpasses ICE and NGO capacity on a daily basis.
Border Patrol is required to meet all of the aforementioned criteria before making such releases.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd confirmed the validity of the documents, saying that while the checklist is policy, the overwhelming number of migrants in processing has led to releases without use of the document.
“This is policy that this is supposed to be done. Whether it falls through the cracks because of how busy we are, certainly things will fall through the cracks,” Judd told the DCNF.
Federal authorities at the southern border recorded more than 3.6 million migrant encounters between October 2022 and March 2023.
“Sectors will need to completely fill out the checklist with names and titles of all notified parties and email to USBP HQ at least 1 hour prior to completing the release,” the memo about the latest checklist stated.
It is used not just by southern border sectors, but also in the northern border, according to a source familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.
“If there is further pertinent information about the release that the sector will need to relay to USBP HQ (i.e., media attention), it should be included in the email,” the memo stated.
The concern about migrant releases into southern border communities increased ahead of the expiration of Title 42, the Trump-era expulsion order, on May 11. Hours before the policy’s sunset, Yuma, Arizona, Mayor Doug Nicholls announced that migrants would be released into local communities.
Federal authorities expelled more than 2 million migrants using Title 42.
The DCNF also observed Border Patrol releasing migrants from Haiti and Romania that had crossed the northern border with Canada in March.
Meanwhile, with the lifting of Title 42, the Biden administration sought the use of parole authority to release migrants into the U.S. without court dates, instructing them to self-report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A federal judge, however, quickly struck down the latest use of parole after Florida sued.
The Biden administration insisted after the judge’s move that federal border authorities aren’t “allowing” the “mass release of migrants.”
“The claims that CBP[U.S. Customs and Border Protection] is allowing or encouraging mass release of migrants is just categorically false. That is not what’s occurring, that is not what’s happening,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said Friday.
On Thursday alone, federal authorities released more than 6,000 migrants using parole, according to court documents.
Neither CBP nor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responded to requests for comment.
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