By Alberto Garcia
New statistics released by US Customs & Border Protection show that most immigrants arrested entering the US as family units were released from Border Patrol stations and not deported.
Of the 473,682 undocumented immigrants that were apprehended crossing the border with at least one family member between Oct. 1, 2018 and Sept. 30, 2019, nearly 80% were processed and released with a notice to appear in court at a future date for a hearing on their status. Those individuals were allowed to remain in the US until their court date.
A total of 851,508 undocumented immigrants were apprehended during that period, with 377,826 of those having been traveling alone, including 76,000 unaccompanied minors.
CBP used to apprehend immigrants and transfer them to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) for processing and detention. ICE, however, has greatly reduced the numbers of undocumented immigrants it detains after the disastrous policies of separating families and incarcerating minors during the past two years created pushback from Congress, human rights advocates, and immigration experts.
As a result, CBP is now processing and releasing a higher number of immigrants instead of simply deporting them.