Ending the rule that requires migrant children who come across the U.S.-Mexico border with family members to be released within 20 days would effectively end the catch-and-release issue, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said in a clip airing Wednesday.
"The main driver that fuels illegal immigration into the United States is the catch-and-release program, being released once you violate our laws to disappear in the shadows of society," Judd says in a clip airing on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "The vast majority of individuals once released into the United States never show up for court appearances. This would effectively end catch-and-release. That will drive illegal immigration down. Word will get back to countries and it will drop exponentially."
His comments led to a tweet from President Donald Trump, who quoted him before the Department of Homeland Security was to announce the new policy, which will allow officials to hold migrant families indefinitely.
Under the expected new rules, immigrant families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border may be detained indefinitely while awaiting court proceedings, according to government officials familiar with the plans.
Changing the rules would allow the government to hold children and their families indefinitely pending their court proceedings, rather than follow the guidelines set in the 1997 Flores settlement. That agreement at first listed specific conditions for holding unaccompanied migrant children, and was expanded later to apply the conditions to migrant children accompanied by family members.
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