A new federal stand-down order forces border patrol agents to release many illegal immigrants they arrest — and bans the agents from ordering their return to a deportation hearing, according to the head of the agents' labor union.
"Immigration laws today appear to be mere suggestions, there are little to no consequences for breaking the laws and that fact is well known in other countries," Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council,
said in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security Thursday.
"If government agencies like [the Department of Homeland Security] or [Customs and Border Protection] are allowed to bypass Congress by legislating through policy, we might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," he added.
According to Judd, the policy shift is part of the Obama administration's "priorities" program that targets illegal immigrants who enter the country after Jan. 1, 2014, the Washington Times reports.
"Simply put, the new policy makes mandatory the release — without a [Notice to Appear] of any person arrested by the Border Patrol for being in the country illegally, as long as they don't have a previous felony arrest and conviction and as long as they claim to been continuously in the United States since January of 2014," Judd explained.
"The operative word in this policy is 'claim'," he added. "The policy does not require the person to prove they've been here, which is the same burden placed on them during deportation — instead it simply requires them to claim to have been here since January of 2014."
And, he said, agents not only are ordered to release the illegal immigrants, "we do it without any means of tracking their whereabouts."
Testifying on a two-year border surge of immigrant youths, Judd said the policy shift was triggered by the administration's "embarrassment" that just over half of illegal immigrants ordered to appear in court actually do.
He testified Border Patrol Agents have dubbed the court-ordered appearances "Notices to Disappear."
"The willful failure to show up for court appearances by persons that were arrested and released by the Border Patrol has become an extreme embarrassment for the Department of Homeland Security," he testified. "It has been so embarrassing that DHS and the U.S. attorney's office has come up with a new policy."
Instead, however, the policy is merely prompting more people to sneak across the border – including members of drug cartels, he said.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.