Fact Check: Yes, Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Stops Catch and Release

MCALLEN, TX - JULY 25: Central American immigrants just released from U.S. Border Patrol detention board a Greyhound bus for Houston and then other U.S. destinations on July 25, 2014 in McAllen, Texas. Federal agencies have been overwhelmed by tens of thousands of immigrant families and unaccompanied minors from Central …
John Moore/Getty Images

During the 2020 State of the Union address, President Trump touted his series of “Remain in Mexico” policies as responsible for stopping the mass catch-and- release of border crossers into the interior of the United States.

“Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again,” Trump said. He continued:

My Administration has ended catch-and-release. If you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed. We entered into historic cooperation agreements with the governments of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. As a result of our unprecedented efforts, illegal crossings are down 75 percent since May — dropping eight straight months in a row. And as the wall goes up, drug seizures rise, and border crossings go down.

Trump, as Breitbart News has reported, has secured historic international agreements with Mexico, as well as key Central American countries, to ensure border crossers are not readily released into the interior of the U.S. after they cross the southern border.

Most recently, federal immigration officials deported nearly 300 Guatemalans back to Guatemala. Likewise, federal officials helped Guatemalan officials return Honduran migrants to Honduras, many of whom may have eventually shown up at the southern border claiming asylum.

Incoming U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told Breitbart News’s Bob Price in an interview this week that “What Mexico is doing on their southern border is having a huge impact on the entire [U.S.] southwest border.”

“Over the last four months we’ve seen a reduction in traffic — considerably,” Ortiz said. “I think a lot of that has to do with the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), the electronic notification and verification system, and the asylum referral that has allowed us to more quickly repatriate some of these people back to Mexico, Guatemala, and other locations. In other words, it ended ‘Catch and Release.'”

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

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