President Donald Trump issued an executive memo on Friday that orders the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense and Health and Human Services to “expeditiously end ‘catch and release’ practices as they pertain to immigration enforcement.
The order gives the Secretary of Homeland Security 45 days to submit a report to the president detailing all measures taken by Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to end the practice of releasing criminal aliens immediately after having arrested them for being in the country illegally.
“President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to take important steps to end catch and release, the dangerous practice whereby aliens who have violated our Nations immigration laws are released into the United States shortly after their apprehension,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “The safety and security of the American people is the Presidents highest priority, and he will keep his promise to protect our country and to ensure that our laws are respected.”
Trump issued an executive order in January that directed the Department of Homeland Security to issue new policies terminating “catch and release.” Homeland Security issued the new policies in February, but due to bottlenecks in the Justice system and a lack of resources, the undesirable practice continued.
This new memo orders the Justice Department, Health and Human Services and the DoD to coordinate with Homeland Security so that all of their resources can be utilized to arrest, detain, send to trial and return illegal aliens instead of releasing them into the United States.
Trump’s new order specifically lists two actions to take immediately while the departments formulate additional measures over the next month-and-a-half:
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(i) All measures taken pursuant to section 5(a) of Executive Order 13767 to allocate all legally available resources to construct, operate, control, or modify — or establish contracts to construct, operate, control, or modify — facilities to detain aliens for violations of immigration law at or near the borders of the United States;
(ii) All measures taken pursuant to section 5(b) ofExecutive Order 13767 to assign asylum officers to immigration detention facilities for the purpose of accepting asylum referrals and conducting credible fear determinations and reasonable fear determinations;