FIRST ON FOX: A decision to allow all sectors of the Border Patrol to begin “safe” mass releases of migrants to city streets if NGOs are over capacity will take place according to a 2022 memo that was uncovered during of a legal proceeding filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody last year and describes how to handle releases at the end of Title 42.
Fox News reported on Tuesday that senior border officials in Washington DC have decided to authorize all Border Patrol sectors to begin releases if CBP and NGOs cannot detain migrants. This means they will be released at bus stops, gas stations, supermarkets and elsewhere.
The decision was made amid a surge of migrants across the border which has reached more than 10,000 a day over several days this week. NGOs are already approaching their capacity limits, and those numbers are only expected to get worse in the coming days when Title 42 – which allows for the rapid deportation of migrants at the border due to the COVID-19 pandemic – expires.
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The releases are consistent with an internal memo issued last year in May 2022 by Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz, which outlined guidance for situations where ICE is unable to accept immigrants. illegal due to a lack of space and instead they must be released. to avoid overcrowding. The memo states that releases “should be made in the vicinity of [NGOs] who are able to provide additional services” and that liaisons will work to identify capacity and capacity to “accept releases, places of safety and times when releases may be most appropriate”.
The guidelines say releases must be carried out “in a safe, humane and orderly manner” and also outline what should happen if NGO space is not available.
“Releases should be done at ‘centres’ where non-citizens have access to services offered by NGOs, transport hubs and/or other safe places,” it says, adding that releases should be tracked by sector.
The memo also outlines factors Border Patrol should consider, including distance, timing, security and transportation options.
Ortiz was asked about the memo during a July 28, 2022 deposition in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Moody against DHS.
“This is a memorandum that I signed on May 19, 2022, and it deals with releases of non-nationals from our detention.”
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“In your 31-year experience with Border Patrol, have you ever seen a document – or have you ever seen a memorandum like Exhibit 3 before?” asked him for a lawyer.
Ortiz replied, “No.”
Since that deposition, a federal judge has blocked a separate policy that has seen the migrants be released through a process called “Parole + ATD [Alternatives to Detention]“Moody’s chief of staff sought this week to verify whether these Fox-reported outings were taking place as part of an alternative policy.
A DOJ attorney from the Office of Immigration Litigation responded by saying that DHS said the releases will take place “in accordance with the policy outlined in the May 19, 2022 memorandum of [Ortiz]…”
In a statement, Moody’s said it showed DHS intends to “step back” in the face of increased migration.
“We discovered Biden’s disastrous plan nearly a year ago, but corporate media ignored the overwhelming evidence that DHS plans to pull out as Title 42 expires and hundreds of thousands of migrants are storming the southwest border,” she said in a statement to Fox News Digital. .
“Americans need to know that this crisis is about to escalate, and it is because of the deliberate dismantling of our public safety immigration structures that Biden and Mayorkas have been attacking since day one in office,” he said. she declared.
On Wednesday, DHS clarified its policy and how it plans to conduct releases.
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“As Republican and Democratic administrations have done in the past to protect the safety and security of Border Patrol agents and migrants during severe overcrowded conditions, U.S. Border Patrol sectors may consider releasing some migrants who have undergone strict national security and public safety checks to continue their immigration processes,” a spokesperson said. “This may include processing migrants for parole to reduce the time that ‘they go into detention.
“Each parole will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and those released will be required to register with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and undergo removal proceedings in immigration court. Individuals may be placed in a alternatives to detention program to ensure compliance, if deemed appropriate The targeted use of parole will allow the Border Patrol to focus its resources more effectively to quickly process and deport individuals who have not legal basis to stay in the country,” the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Wednesday that a plan was in place to deal with the surge in migration, but blamed the coming chaos on congressional inaction.
“I cannot stress enough that our current situation is the result of Congress leaving a broken and outdated immigration system in place for more than two decades. Despite unanimous agreement that we desperately need legislative reform. It is also the result of Congress’ decision not to provide us with the resources that we need and have requested,” he said.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin and Pat Ward contributed to this report.