TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz testified under oath that the Biden administration purposely reduced the detention capacity of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and narrowed removal pathways – increasing pressure on the Border Patrol.
The statements came as part of a deposition in an ongoing case in U.S. District Court in the eleventh circuit. Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody filed the lawsuit to hold President Joe Biden accountable for the crisis at the border. Moody contends that current federal immigration laws are not being enforced, and public safety is at risk.
POLICY HINDERS AGENTS
President Biden’s modified policy purposely hinders agents, according to Ortiz. Under the new policy, agents are to release illegal families or single adults, from certain countries, without a Notice to Appear.
As a result, they don’t receive a full processing report with a callback time in which the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will further process their case. The process allows illegal immigrants to roam the country without reporting their whereabouts.
Ortiz testified that the changes left the Border Patrol with no choice but to release hundreds of thousands of immigrants into the U.S. interior. Among other admissions, Chief Ortiz testified that the crisis is “making the border less safe for Americans and immigrants alike.”
RISKING AGENTS’ LIVES
Attorney General Ashley Moody said: “After the Biden administration denied that they were engaged in catch-and-release and that they were responsible for the historic surge at our southern border, Florida got the Chief of Border Patrol to admit, under oath, the truth.” Moody explained that Biden’s policy is risking agents’ lives and putting them in impossible positions.
Six months after Biden’s inauguration, his administration released more than 60,000 aliens in a single month, according to federal documents provided to Moody’s office during discovery. Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security disclosed that more than 48,000 illegal immigrants, who specified that they were traveling to Florida, failed to check in with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as required by law.
As a result, the federal government has no idea of their location or activity or if they even made it to Florida. The policy permitted them to cross the U.S. border illegally.
The Immigration and Nationality Act, a federal law, requires that inadmissible immigrants be intercepted at the border and detained until repatriated to the country of their citizenship. “In the final month of the Trump administration, U.S. Border Patrol released only seventeen illegal immigrants in the U.S. pending resolution of immigration cases,” Moody’s office told The Florida Standard.