Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan spoke to Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” exclusively on Wednesday about a new rule that will end a 20-day catch-and-release policy for migrant families that are caught crossing the border illegally.
The administration says it will allow these families to be held indefinitely while they await a decision on their immigration status, without separating children from their parents.
“This is a significant step in increasing the integrity of our system and addressing, really, the core aspect of this crisis at our border, which has been the arrival of family units in absolutely record numbers,” said McAleenan.
“Through July we saw 475,000 family units . That’s more than three times any previous full year, arriving at our border in just 10 months,” he said. “And they’ve been coming to exploit a vulnerability in our immigration framework that says if you have a child with you, you cannot be held for more than 20 days. And that’s not been long enough to complete an immigration proceeding.”
“So what this rule does,” he added, “is it establishes very high standards of care for children in federal custody, first and foremost, and implements the 20-year-old settlement. But it also allows us to keep families through their immigration proceedings. These are fair and expeditious proceedings with an immigration judge.”
“And when we start getting results, when we repatriate those don’t have a meritorious claim,” he also said, “we’re going to see a reduction in that flow significantly at the border. So it’s a big step and it’s a key aspect of our multi-layer strategy.” – READ MORE