Catch and Release Reinstated: Border Patrol Asked to Stand Down, Not Enforce Deportations

Why even have a Border Patrol at all? Or a border, for that matter.

President Obama promised transformational change and he has delivered on that promise. In fact, with less than a year left to his presidency, Obama will likely be pulling out all the stops he can. Now, in an abrupt reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being instructed to release illegal immigrants captured at the border and not force other illegal immigrants to appear at deportations hearings.

The Washington Examiner reports that the stand-down order also includes a requirement that "the whereabouts of illegals released are not to be tracked":

"We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," suggested agent Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Testifying on the two-year border surge of immigrant youths, Judd said the policy shift was prompted by Obama administration "embarrassment" that just over half of illegals ordered to appear in court actually do.

"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. It has been so embarrassing that DHS and the U.S. Attorney's office has come up with a new policy," he testified before the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

The biggest change: Undocumented immigrants are no longer given a "notice to appear" order, because they simply ignore them. Judd said that Border agents jokingly refer to the NTAs as "notices to disappear."

He said the the new policy "makes mandatory the release, without an NTA, of any person arrested by the Border Patrol for being in the country illegally, as long as they do not have a previous felony arrest conviction and as long as they claim to have been continuously in the United States since January of 2014. The operative word in this policy is 'claim.' The policy does not require the person to prove they have been here which is the same burden placed on them during deportation proceedings. Instead, it simply requires them to claim to have been here since January of 2014."

"Not only do we release these individuals that by law are subject to removal proceedings, we do it without any means of tracking their whereabouts," Judd said:

"Agents believe this exploitable policy was set in place because DHS was embarrassed at the sheer number of those who choose not to follow the law by showing up for their court appearances. In essence, we pull these persons out of the shadows and into the light just to release them right back to those same shadows from whence they came."

He added that if government agencies like DHS or CBP are "allowed to bypass Congress by legislating through policy, we might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether."

One truly has to ask what is to be gained by enforcing reckless policies like these except to tear the nation asunder.