By: Bethany Blankley | The Center Square contributor
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Tuesday published an internal Border Patrol email her office obtained that provides guidelines to release foreign nationals being held at Customs and Border Patrol processing centers because they are at near full capacity, at full capacity or are already over capacity.
President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas “have become so brazen that they are now implementing mass-release quotas for immigrants surging into our country,” Moody said. “As a federal judge already recognized, these releases are unlawful, yet the Biden administration is ordering Border Patrol to release even more immigrants into the interior.” Moody is referring to a lawsuit Florida brought against the administration and won.
Despite Mayorkas claiming that the border is closed and secure, a record number of people are being processed through ports of entry using the new CBP One App. As a result, processing centers, where individuals, some families, and unaccompanied minors are held within a certain timeframe, as they are processed to be released into or removed from the country by federal agents, are at capacity.
With the majority of agents pulled from the field tasked with processing record numbers of people, officials have expressed concerns to The Center Square that an unknown number of criminals are illegally entering undetected between ports of entry. This also could be why significantly fewer gotaways are being reported than in previous months.
With nearly 20,000 people currently in custody at CBP processing centers in the nine southwest sectors, Border Patrol agents were given a new directive on how to release even more people into the U.S., according to an email sent to agents obtained by Moody’s office.
The redacted email states it is from the Acting Deputy Chief, Law Enforcement Operations Directorate, at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters. The name on the letter is redacted, but the acting deputy director of this office is Ricardo Moreno, according to official records.
The email was sent Aug. 8, 2023, to all Border Patrol field chiefs and field deputies as a follow up to a call to discuss how to “bring in-custody numbers to manageable levels.”
“Unfortunately, after leveraging all consequences to include referrals to ERO [Enforcement and Removal Operations], the rate of daily encounters continues to surpass the daily permanent bookouts and the in-custody numbers continue to rise creating significant risks to agents and detainees. This level of detention numbers has also resulted in increased manpower requirements impacting border security efforts,” the email states.
In addition to this, as of Sept. 11, “BP agents were instructed to reward and release over 6,500 illegal aliens who had committed a crime and crashed our lawless border. 6,500 in one day. Do the math. Joe Biden is destroying this country,” the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing Border Patrol agents, said on X.
This is also in addition to CBP ERO agents continuing to apprehend and process for removal violent criminals, including murderers, rapists, child sex offenders and others.
According to preliminary data The Center Square obtained from a Border Patrol agent, over 215,000 illegal foreign nationals were apprehended or reported evading capture at the southwest border alone last month. The data only includes what is reported by Border Patrol agents. It excludes Office of Field Operations data. So far this month, according to preliminary data, Border Patrol agents have apprehended nearly 76,000 illegal border crossers and reported over 12,300 gotaways.
The station with the heaviest traffic is in Eagle Pass, Texas, with nearly 10,000 people apprehended so far this month. Ajo, Arizona, is not far behind with over 7,700 people apprehended. Brownsville, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, and Santa Teresa, New Mexico are also among the busiest stations this month. Santa Teresa’s station, located roughly 30 miles west of El Paso, Texas, reported more gotaways than apprehensions, nearly 4,300 compared to over 3,700, respectively.
The Border Patrol email “is further proof of the disastrous cycle created by [President] Biden’s intentional destruction of our border with Mexico,” Moody said. “Biden cuts resources, opens the border, and then releases detainees while claiming there is not enough detention capacity to prevent the unprecedented flood of migrants entering the country because of his terrible policies. With every passing day it is becoming more obvious that the border crisis is being intentionally orchestrated by the Biden administration. We will continue to do everything in our power to push back and let the American people know what Biden is doing.”
The email Moody obtained from CBP redacted the actual release quotas “for unexplained reasons.”
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