The acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, Mark A. Morgan, said Tuesday that a program known derisively as “catch-and-release” of illegal aliens has “all but ended” under President Donald Trump.
“We have all but ended catch and release,” Morgan said in an interview with Breitbart News. “It is a game-changer.”
Morgan noted that there has been a huge shift in policy just since last year.
“We were actually releasing half [of the arriving migrants] into the interior of the U.S., most never to be heard of again,” he said, noting that now about one in 20 people caught sneaking illegally into the country is released.
Border officials said ending the catch-and-release program means illegal aliens are no longer able to melt into American society, get jobs, and start a life while waiting for asylum claims to be process.
As such, now there is a new deterrent to illegal immigration because migrants know they will not be able to pay their smuggling debts to the cartels, putting themselves and their families in danger.
The end of catch-and-release means that migrants cannot get U.S. jobs while they wait for their asylum claims to be processed. This deters other people from migrating to the border because they know they will not be able to repay their smuggling debts to the cartels.
“It is true [and] the success that I’ve just outlined is absolutely a direct result of this President’s strategy … and the accompanying policy initiatives developed by this administration,” Morgan said.
The president’s diplomatic agreements have enabled the reduction of catch-and-release with Mexico and the Central American states, noted deputy commissioner Bob Perez.
“More than 95 percent … [are] not being released into the interior. That has changed everything – I can’t overemphasize that enough,” he added.
Morgan also noted that President Trump’s border security policies are also taking a financial toll on the smuggling cartels.
“We have hurt their pocketbook tremendously,” said Morgan. “They have lost billions of dollars because [of the reduced] flow of migrants coming from [Central America] — we have all but stemmed that flow.”