The Department of Homeland Security released 84,500 foreign family members into the United States since December after they crossed through the U.S.-Mexico border, Breitbart News has confirmed.
In newly confirmed federal data from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, Breitbart News has learned the massive scale and scope of DHS’s ramped up Catch and Release policy.
For months, DHS officials have said privately that the Catch and Release program has been taken to new heights, while ICE union officials declared this week that the program was in “overdrive” under the direction of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Between December 21, 2018 and March 5, DHS has released a total of 84,500 border crossers and illegal aliens into the U.S. This release process often entails federal immigration officials busing border crossers into nearby border cities and dropping them off with the promise that they will show up for their immigration and asylum hearings, sometimes years later.
San Antonio, Texas has had to absorb most of these released border crossers and illegal aliens, with about 37,500 being dropped off in the city. Another 24,000 were dropped off in El Paso, Texas, while 14,500 were released in Phoenix, Arizona and 8,500 were released in San Diego, California.
At this rate, DHS is releasing more than 42,000 border crossers and illegal aliens into the country about every month. Should this current Catch and Release rate remain throughout the calendar year, by the end of 2019 DHS will have released more than half a million border crossers and illegal aliens into the U.S.
The overwhelming majority of illegal aliens — of which there are already 11 million to 22 million living in the U.S. — are never deported.
Federal immigration officials expect the Catch and Release program to be supercharged this year as the Trump administration most recently expanded the program and cut back on ICE detention space.
Current illegal immigration projections predict that aside from the border crossers and illegal aliens who are caught by Border Patrol, then released into the interior of the country, there could be about half a million illegal aliens who successfully cross into the U.S. through the southern border, undetected, this year.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.