Catch and Release Policy Continues Despite Orders

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MCALLEN – The McAllen bus station is getting a spike of immigrants released from federal custody, even after orders by the White House to end the practice.

People from Central America who crossed the border illegally have filled up the bus station in recent weeks.

In January, the White House ordered to the end of ‘catch and release.’ And in February, the Department of Homeland Security echoed those orders to its staff.

ICE said releases are done on a case by case basis.

“I think they have different – it’s not that they can’t handle it. It’s just how they figure out what’s best, how to proceed with families, whether they have special circumstances or why they think it’s best that they get released,” Sister Norma Pimentel, director of Catholic Charities, said.

ICE said when they consider releasing an immigrant from custody ahead of their court date it involves a review of criminal records, immigration history, ties to the community and flight risk.


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