CBP Considering Releasing ‘Asylum Seekers’ Without Notice to Appear

March 2021. Border Patrol agents process large groups of migrant families and unaccompanied minors in the RGV sector. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector

Fox News reports from an unnamed senior U.S. Custom and Border Protection official that the agency is considering a plan to release migrants apprehended in South Texas who claim asylum without issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA). Breitbart Texas confirmed with a senior CBP official the plan is being discussed.

A Fox News Channel article published late Saturday night revealed that discussions are underway that could result in the near-immediate release of thousands of apprehended migrants in the Rio Grande Valley Sector who would have no date to appear before an immigration judge or asylum officer. The news outlet claims a senior CBP official revealed the unprecedented plan that would allow the migrants to be released without an NTA.

A Breitbart Texas source at the highest levels operating under the umbrella of CBP in Washington, D.C., confirmed the plan is a “serious measure being discussed.”

Fox says the plan is being discussed because the crisis along the border has “become so dire that [Border Patrol] has no choice but to release people nearly immediately” after their apprehension because “there is no space to hold people” long enough to do the NTA paperwork. The processing to issue an NTA can take up to two hours per individual or family group.

The plan would not apply to unaccompanied migrant minors who cannot legally be released.

Under the plan being discussed, migrants would be released after Border Patrol agents gather only minimal identification information, officials told Breitbart Texas. The migrant would be instructed to contact immigration officials close to their destination city after they arrive.

However, without an NTA, there will be no mechanism in place to follow up on the migrant or even to know if they really traveled to their disclosed destination, Border Patrol officials said. There would be no way for an immigration court to issue an order for removal if the migrant fails to appear because they have no way of knowing the person was coming.

The migrants would simply be released after promising to show up at some undetermined future time at an immigration office to apply for asylum, officials stated.

It is not clear how many migrants this would apply to. Under current law, unaccompanied minors cannot simply be released. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coronavirus protection protocols under Title 42 still allow for the near-immediate expulsion of single adults and some family units.

However, in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, and select other locations, Mexico is not allowing families traveling with young children to be expelled back to their country.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings tweeted that his agents apprehended more than 2,000 migrants on Thursday, more than 10,000 in the past week, and more than 34,000 for the month of March. This is up from 27,913 apprehended during the entire month of February.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas Sector.

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