The congressional testimony of National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd painted an unflattering picture of how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has handled the capture and release of undocumented immigrants.
Judd testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security hearing on Feb. 4, describing the DHS as “embarrassed” by the high volume of undocumented immigrants evading court appearances. He said that these have lead to directives so ineffectual that “we might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether,” according to the Washington Examiner.
When undocumented immigrants are caught by border control, they are given a “notice to appear” (NTA) order to show up in court. Judd said that “the latest data that I have seen shows that approximately 40 percent of the individuals being issued NTAs do not show up,” according to The Daily Caller. “The willful failure to show up for court appearances … has become an extreme embarrassment for the DHS.”
Judd accused the DHS of ordering border control to no longer issue NTAs to undocumented immigrants if they do not have a felony record or answer that they have resided in the U.S. since January 2014.
"Not only do we release these individuals that by law are subject to removal proceedings, we do it without any means of tracking their whereabouts,” Judd said.
“Agents believe this exploitable policy was set in place because DHS was embarrassed at the sheer number of those who choose not to follow the law and instead, ditch their court appearances.”
The border patrol union president added that those who disregard the DHS’ new orders “will be terminated.”
Judd added that border control is under-equipped and unable to catch the majority of those crossing the border illegally.
“A safe estimate from the Border Patrol agents would be that we arrest about 40 percent of what actually crosses,” Judd said, according to Breitbart.
“Immigrations laws today appear to be mere suggestions,” Judd concluded.
DHS spokesman Michael Friel responded that the “U.S. Border Patrol continues to enforce immigration laws consistent with the department’s enforcement priorities, which are focused on border security, national security and public safety.”