Speed Reads

Trump v Immigration

DHS Secretary Kelly says catch-and-release is 'ended.' ICE agents at the border say nothing has changed.

"We have ended dangerous catch-and-release enforcement policies," Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in April. He was referring to a procedure in which illegal immigrants are caught by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and then, if determined not to pose any serious security risk, released to live freely in the United States while waiting for their court date, a delay that can take months or years. Many of those released are women and children, for whom there are legal limits on length of detention.

ICE agents interviewed in a new report from Reuters contradict Kelly's account. A Texan ICE field office director named Daniel Bible said his team "look[s] at each case the same way we always have" because he has not received new guidelines since Trump took office. Reuters confirmed with a DHS representative that no new instructions pertaining to catch-and-release have been issued.

President Trump described catch-and-release on the campaign trail as "the release of dangerous, dangerous, dangerous criminals from detention" and pledged to end the practice. "Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came," he said. "And they'll be brought great distances. We're not dropping them right across [the border]."