A law enforcement source within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says the agency will begin releasing all single adult Venezuelans, Haitians, and Cubans currently in custody. The releases will aid in overcrowding challenges at Border Patrol stations and in preparation for the end of the CDC’s Title 42 COVID-19 emergency order.
According to the source, the order will apply to those who are currently detained and all future single adult Venezuelans, Haitians, and Cubans apprehended at the southwest border. The move is designed to immediately help facilities in Del Rio, Texas, due to a surge in migration there.
ICE notified Border Patrol that beginning Friday, July 16 and until further notice, single adults from Haiti, Cuba, and Venezuela should be processed for Notice to Appear and referred to ICE. After transfer, ICE will be responsible for releasing the subjects and arrange pick-up from Border Patrol facilities beginning Monday, July 19. The only exception will apply to those facing a final order of removal, criminal prosecution, or those previously deported from the United States.
The source says local shelters lack the capacity to accept additional migrant releases and are having difficulty coordinating ground transportation away from the border area. The source suspects ICE Air Operations (IAO) will be flying the migrants into the U.S. interior.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, IAO is routinely conducting flights from Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio to ICE field offices across the country.
The source believes, however, the migrant releases will eventually overwhelm ICE Air Operations capabilities at the Air Force base and releases will instead occur directly into the border regions.
The move, according to the source, is frustrating border enforcement authorities who feel they are spinning their wheels trying to deal with the migrant influx, adding they are one step shy of releasing everyone that crosses the border in a true “catch and release” fashion.
Migrant releases within the Del Rio area have sparked concern among residents and law enforcement who say the smaller communities cannot cope with the demands. Apprehensions along the southwest border this fiscal year through May are nearly 300 percent higher than the same time frame in 2020.
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. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.