Catch and Release: Caravan Asylum Seekers Closer to Living Freely In U.S.

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Washington, D.C.

As more than 50 Central Americans traveling with a caravan in an effort to gain entry to the United States begin having their asylum claims processed by immigration officials, the foreign nationals inch closer to living freely in the U.S.

The “Catch and Release” program allows foreign nationals to be released into the U.S. while they await immigration and asylum hearings through a number of legal loopholes and weak asylum laws.

Through Catch and Release — which has continued under President Trump’s administration — some Central Americans with the caravan arriving at the southern border are increasingly likely to be released into the country as detention space remains under-funded by the Republican-controlled Congress.

Despite strong language from Trump, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen, and even Vice President Mike Pence this week in regards to the caravan, the route allowing foreign nationals with the caravan to be released into the U.S. is still open with no legislative agenda in sight that would end Catch and Release.

Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan noted that although DHS has slowed the asylum process for the caravan, the foreign nationals are not expected to be deterred from seeking asylum and thus potentially being released.

DHS officials have previously told Breitbart News that there is no way for the agency to ensure that border-crossers and asylum-seekers with the caravan are not released into the U.S.

Thus far, the only major push to prevent the caravan from gaining entry to the country has come from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a longtime opponent of mass immigration.

As Breitbart News reported, Sessions is sending more immigration prosecutors and judges to the southern border to help keep the caravan contained to detention centers and more quickly processed, prosecuted, and sent home if their asylum claims do not meet the standards for asylum in the U.S.

“We are not going to let this country be overwhelmed,” Sessions said of the caravan.

The Trump administration could have unilaterally ended Catch and Release by authorizing the hundreds of troops already sent to the U.S.-Mexico border to construct tent cities that would expand the detention space where border-crossers and asylum-seekers could be placed while they await their hearings, as Breitbart News reported.

The majority of likely voters said in recent polling that the Trump administration should have stopped the “hundreds of people from Central America who have come across Mexico in a highly publicized caravan.”

Mass immigration is one of the biggest concerns for likely voters and the Trump administration has previously made a legislative push that would close legal loopholes for border-crossers and asylum-seekers, as well as implemented a merit-based immigration system.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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