DHS Chief Announces End of “Catch-and-Release” Immigration Policy

The Trump Administration vowed to end “catch and release” from its earliest days in power. “Catch and release” refers to the practice of allowing noncitizen immigrants to bond out of detention while awaiting their removal proceedings. Typically, these immigrants would not be released unless they could prove that they were neither likely to abscond nor a public safety risk. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through its (now former) Acting Secretary, Kevin McAleenan, renewed the Trump Administration’s intent to end the practice as to detained families. However, McAleenan did carve out exceptions to the new policy for unspecified medical and humanitarian reasons. McAleenan cited the practice as a significant cause of immigrant families and children remaining in the U.S. for years without ever obtaining legal immigration status. 

DHS Chief Announces End of “Catch-and-Release” Immigration Policy

DHS thereafter issued a statement outlining how they intended to implement this policy. The policy states if families show no fear of return to their native countries, DHS quickly will return them to their countries of origin. If the families do show fear of return, DHS will return them to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or the “Remain in Mexico” program. Under the MPP, the U.S. government has sent thousands of asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico where they must remain while they await court dates on their asylum requests. Critics of MPP have pointed out the dangers of sending these immigrants to wait in Mexico for undetermined periods, as well as the federal government’s failure to protect those who have shown a credible fear of persecution.

Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to work toward a resolution of your immigration matter. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of immigration forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.

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