DHS Chief Says U.S. Will End ‘Catch And Release’ Immigration Policy

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan announced last month that migrant families who are detained at the U.S. border will no longer be allowed to enter the country under what is commonly referred to as “catch and release" immigration.

While there will still be humanitarian and medical exceptions, migrant family units who don’t claim they fear for their safety if they return to their home country will be sent back to their country of origin. Those who do claim credible fear will have to wait in Mexico under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). MPP requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until the U.S. court dates for their case.

McAleenan reported that there was a record number of migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border this year, totaling 144,000. Seventy-two percent of the total were unaccompanied children or families.

This news comes after El Salvador recently reached an agreement with the U.S. that will see the Central American country allow some asylum-seekers to request protection there instead. Prior to the agreement, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration was allowed to create the rule that forced migrants to first seek asylum in a country that they travel through on the way to the U.S.

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