EXCLUSIVE: Biden DHS Instructs Border Patrol to Expand Catch and Release

Migrants released by Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas, wait in line to enter an overcrowded Catholic Charities shelter (Photo: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas)
File Photo: Randy Clark/Breitbart Texas

Internal documents revealed to Breitbart Texas show Border Patrol agents being instructed to cease expelling all migrant family units under the Trump era Title 42 Emergency COVID order. The instructions come after a federal judge ordered the Biden Administration to cease using the COVID-19 emergency order to immediately expel any family unit containing minors. The instructions to release the migrants into the United States took full effect Thursday.

The operating instructions to the Border Patrol come as the result of a September 16 injunction issued by D.C. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other migrant rights groups are challenging the CDC emergency order and secured an injunction, resulting in the migrant family unit releases.

Judge Sullivan’s injunction allowed for a 14-day stay to allow the administration to explore appellate options. The stay expires Thursday. As such, the CBP operational instructions will result in an increase in the number of migrant family units into the United States.

A source says the CBP instructions call for Border Patrol agents to cease processing Haitian national family units for delayed Title 42 repatriations to Haiti and instead release them under an ICE Alternative to Detention (ATD) program. ATD monitors the migrants with cell phones or ankle bracelets. A source within ICE says many of the costly devices are discarded after release.

Family units from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala will no longer be eligible for return to Mexico under the Title 42 CDC order, according to the instructions. Migrant family units from these originating countries will also be released into the United States under ATD.

Family units from Mexico will be afforded the opportunity to voluntarily return. Should they choose not to, they too will fall under an ATD release option. The newly issued operational instructions do not apply to single adult migrants. Single adults will continue to be subject to the Title 42 CDC emergency order and expelled, according to the source.

The Biden Administration voluntarily reduced the application regarding family units earlier in the year. Of the more than 415,000 migrants apprehended as family units since October, the order was only applied to roughly a quarter. This fact was cited in Judge Sullivan’s injunction as reason to deny the government’s argument that the use of Title 42 CDC order was critical to combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initial impact to border communities will most likely be a 25 percent increase in migrant releases, so long as the current level of illegal border crossings remains consistent.

On Wednesday, as reported exclusively by Breitbart Texas, the Border Patrol surpassed all historical apprehension records for the southwest sectors.

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.


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