Some illegal migrant families detained by border patrol are reportedly being released in Texas, instead of being deported back over the border, migrants’ rights advocates say.
Under the Trump administration, immediate deportation was the protocol for dealing with apprehended migrants attempting to illegally cross the border, a practice border officials may be shifting away from under the new Biden administration.
"When long-term holding solutions aren’t possible, some migrants will be processed for removal, provided a Notice to Appear, and released into the U.S. to await a future immigration hearing," Customs and Border Patrol said in a statement to Bloomberg News.
The Biden administration's intent to reform immigration policy, coupled with Mexican policy reforms have created confusion, says Astrid Dominguez, director for the ACLU of Texas’ Border Rights Center. A recent change in Mexico's immigration policy may have contributed further to the confusion, as Mexican officials reportedly objected to the return of migrant children in the Rio Grande Valley area, according to Bloomberg.
"If there were changes, they are not applying them uniformly yet across the border," Dominguez said
A reported 1,000 migrants have been permitted to remain in Texas in recent days, hundreds more allowed to stay in California.
U.S. figures show that some 380,000 migrants have been deported since March 2020, according to Bloomberg. President Biden ordered a review of policies designed to thwart illegal immigration on the southern border, though has not revoked the migrant expulsion policy.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Saturday that the Biden administration will be ending Trump era agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras that prevented citizens from those respective countries from seeking asylum in the U.S.
"To be clear, these actions do not mean that the U.S. border is open," Blinken clarified.
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