Illegal border crossings up; catch-and-release blamed

Border Patrol arrest

As illegal immigration continues to surge at the southern border, critics are blaming flaws in U.S. policy. According to new figures from the National Border Patrol Council, the number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border totaled more than 38,000 in April - the most for any month since President Trump took office and up 230 percent from the same month a year earlier. In addition, the Border Patrol Council estimates that 75 percent of those caught were let go through the "catch-and-release" policy which allows illegals to be released while they await a deportation hearing.

The April numbers continue a wave of illegal border crossings that began earlier this year, many involving unaccompanied children or people from Central America. "Asylum claims are way up, because groups are telling illegal aliens that even if you don't have a legitimate asylum claim, you should make one, because that will help keep you in the U.S. while the government investigates," says Hans Von Spakovsky with the Heritage Foundation.

In addition to loopholes in U.S. asylum policy, Von Spakovsky also blames the latest border surge on liberal politicians in the U.S. who are undermining President Trump's tough border policy. "There are messages coming in from mayors and sanctuary cities and others, I think, inducing aliens to come here," he says.

 President Trump has criticized catch-and-release policies and a White House spokesman recently said the President plans to push Congress to end catch-and-release and close loopholes in the law. But that may be easier said than done. "When it came to the fight over the DACA program and trying to reach some kind of deal on that, Congress was unable to do it," says Von Spakovsky. "So I don't know whether (Trump) will be able to convince Congress to fix the loopholes in the law that have led to the catch-and-release policy."


Illegal immigration along U.S.-Mexico border surged 230 percent in April compared to last year, according to new numbers experts say expose major loopholes in American immigration law. Chief among the loopholes is the de facto “catch-and-release” policy that sees most illegal immigrants caught at the border quickly put back out on the streets, with the hope that they’ll return to be deported later.

We talked to Hans Von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation:


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