Shelby: Mayorkas Denial on Catch and Release Contradicts DHS Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid the ongoing crisis escalating along the Southwest border, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas today appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he was questioned about the Biden Administration’s revival of the Obama Administration’s controversial “catch and release” policy.  In response to questioning on this matter, Secretary Mayorkas flatly denied that migrants captured illegally crossing into the U.S. are being released from Border Patrol custody without a Notice to Appear before a federal judge to adjudicate their illegal entry into the country. 


It “is indeed the case [that] they do have a court date,” Mayorkas testified before the Senate Committee.  The DHS Secretary’s denial directly contradicts information recently provided to the Committee by the Department, which reported that in the past two months, at least 19,000 illegal immigrants have been caught and released by the Border Patrol without a Notice to Appear.


In light of this contradiction, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) followed up to today’s hearing with a letter to Secretary Mayorkas pressing him to explain the discrepancy. 


“Please clarify the discrepancy between your testimony at this morning’s hearing and the information provided to the Committee by your Department,” Shelby stated in the letter.  “In particular, please provide an update on how many migrants have been released from CBP custody without a Notice to Appear, how many have been released with no direction or paperwork at all, and how many of these migrants have complied with the request to voluntarily report to ICE.  And, to reiterate my question from this morning, of the ones who do not voluntarily report, what is the plan to track and adjudicate their illegal entry into the country?”


The full text of Vice Chairman Shelby’s letter to Secretary Mayorkas is linked here.




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