Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan told a Senate panel on Thursday that all illegal border crossers are currently being released from custody and most receive work permits within a month or two. McAleenan testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee regarding the ongoing border surge that has seen a record number of family units apprehended in just the first half of the current fiscal year.
McAleenan said illegal border crossers are getting exactly what they seek, access to the interior of the United States and the ability to work.
“That is directly how smugglers are advertising,” he told the Senate Homeland Security Committee, adding that it applies not just to families seeking asylum.
Under an ICE memo signed by former ICE Director John Morton in 2009, and still in effect today, any family unit that is found to have a credible fear if returned to their home country can be given parole, which entitles them to a work permit.
McAleenan's statements indicate that the policy of 'catch-and-release', a policy that Pres. Trump pledged to end, is in full effect. Limited detention space, and further cuts to detention space and enforcement efforts by Congress in the last DHS spending bill, along with a massive border surge, have somewhat hampered Pres. Trump's ability to end catch-and-release. However, the Administration's inability to end certain policies that are contributing to the ongoing surge are also to blame.
For more, see the Washington Times.
Updated: Fri, Jun 7th 2019 @ 8:30am EDT