Border Patrol agents at the RGV have begun releasing migrants who seek asylum without issuing an NTA.
- BP agents have been releasing illegal border crossers who claim shelter in the US without issuing an NTA.
- The deputies had to use PD to skip the hours-long paperwork process.
- Officials were considering the controversial step in a bid to tackle the border crisis.
On Sunday, March 21, FOX News confirmed that Border Patrol(BP) agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) are processing and releasing migrants who claim shelter in the US without issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA). The illegal border crossers are being allowed to leave custody without scheduling a court date for a hearing.
According to multiple BP deputies, due to the wave of migrants, they had to use prosecutorial discretion (PD) to avoid the hours-long paperwork process required to issue an NTA. The responsibility of seeking an asylum hearing is now placed on the migrants through Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or legal assistance.
Instead of going through the protracted process, the border crossers are registered into the system via biometrical data. Then, they are taken to a bus station in McAllen, Texas, and are largely released into the public. This procedure does not apply to unaccompanied children, as BP agents claim.
A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) source revealed that officials were considering this unprecedented move due to the ongoing border crisis.
According to the source, the situation has “become so dire that BP has no choice but to release people nearly immediately after apprehension because there is no space to hold people even to do necessary NTA paperwork.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Service(HHS) has plans of establishing another facility for unaccompanied child migrants.
As the Office of Refugee Resettlement(ORR) announced, the Temporary Influx Care Facility would open doors in Pecos, Texas, and would initially house at least 500 minors, with the capacity of 2,000. A spokesperson stated:
“While ORR has worked to build up its licensed bed capacity to almost 13,500 beds, additional capacity is urgently needed to manage both enhanced COVID-19 mitigation strategies and the increasing numbers of UC referrals from DHS[Department of Homeland Security].”
Alejandro Mayorkas, US Secretary of Homeland Security, warned that border crossings have dramatically increased and were the highest in the last 20 years. More than 100,000 migrants have been encountered at the border in February, as per CBP.
To tackle the surge, Biden’s administration has been working on increasing the capacity of facilities to house migrants.