EXCLUSIVE: Biden Admin Increases Migrant Releases as Border Policies Crumble Under Another Surge

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials received a directive from their Washington, DC, headquarters instructing Border Patrol sectors to increase migrant releases, according to a source. On Tuesday, the number of migrants held in detention across the southwest border neared 20,000 following a renewed surge of migrant crossings. The directive called for the release of migrant family unit members into the United States in lieu of removal under Title 8.

Breitbart Texas reviewed a directive sent to Border Patrol sector chief patrol agents on Monday. As of Tuesday, the detention count had been reduced by nearly 2,000 migrants and remained slightly above 17,000 migrants held in custody of the agency at temporary detention centers. No expiration date of the order to release migrants was given, and according to the confidential source who is not authorized to speak to media, the releases will be a short-term “decompression” measure in place until migrant custody numbers reach a more manageable level.

The directive did not limit the release of migrant family unit members by nationality or reason for illegally entering the county. No process of qualifying for relief or conduct of asylum credible fear hearings was mandated. The need to quickly alleviate facility overcrowding became dire over the weekend. As reported by Breitbart Texas, some Border Patrol facilities were at more than double capacity on Saturday.

The releases may spell trouble for some cities and states struggling to cope with hundreds of migrants arriving daily. In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams is demanding more assistance from the federal government as mostly single adult migrants were recently forced to sleep on the sidewalk outside the Roosevelt Hotel. The single adult migrants were left outdoors waiting for accommodations due to the need to accommodate family unit migrants with children who were given priority, according to Adams.

On Tuesday, Maura Healey, the Democrat governor of Massachusetts, sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas describing the migrant arrivals in her state as constituting a state of emergency. In the letter, Healy claims the need to provide shelter to more than 5,500 families, including children, has overwhelmed the state’s capacity. More than 1,800 migrants and refugees are being held in hotels around the state.

The migrant releases sharply contrast social media messaging by CBP regarding the penalties associated with applying the Title 8 immigration authority following the cancellation of the immediate expulsion authority under the CDC Title 42 COVID-19 emergency order that expired in May.

On Tuesday evening, after conducting wide-scale releases of migrant family units from multiple countries, the agency reiterated via social media. “The US border is not open to irregular migration,” the message states.

The video message sent via Twitter emphasized, “Don’t listen to the lies of smugglers, US immigration policies have not changed. Under Title 8, individuals and families who arrive without authorization will be subject to removal and can be returned to their country of origin”.

The source says these messages irritate the morale of the agents in the field who are required to re-process migrant family units administratively from Title 8 removals to releases within the United States. “The use of Title 8 has never been a speedy process. With nearly 6,000 migrant encounters daily, the flow has overwhelmed us,” the source emphasized.

According to the source, the messaging implies that the consequence of removal and a bar on reentry is almost certain. However, the reality is that it is not applied to many migrants due to the lengthy administrative removal process under Title 8.

“The messaging coming from headquarters seems more like propaganda than policy,” the source explained. “To allege consequences will be applied and that smugglers lie about releases flies in the face of reality when it comes on the very day we are instructed to release as many migrant family unit members as we possible can to bring the detention numbers down.”

Part of the problem of conducting speedy removals of migrants in temporary detention is the limited capacity of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to transport the migrants to Central American Northern Triangle countries. ICE Air has a limited number of aircraft to conduct the removals and move migrants within the United States, according to the source.

The repatriation flights are conducted by Swift Air LLC, part of the iAero group — a private company under contract to ICE to transport migrants within the United States and conduct international repatriation flights.

According to CBP, from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, 365,006 migrants classified as family unit members were apprehended along the southwest border. The current daily average for family unit migrants encountered by the Border Patrol per day is more than 1,000, unofficial reports indicate.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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