A group of Republican attorneys general are pushing for a fix to the “catch-and-release loophole” at the southern border, arguing that it could allow terrorists to enter the country.
The group, led by Florida AG Ashley Moody is leading the AG coalition, sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday, urging him to take action to close the loophole. The letter states that the loophole allows migrants to be released into the United States without being detained or deported, even if they have been convicted of crimes or are considered to be a security risk.
The attorneys general argue that the loophole is a major threat to national security, especially in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Israel. The letter states that “there is a real and present danger that terrorists could exploit the catch-and-release loophole to enter the United States and carry out attacks.”
The group is calling on Biden to take a number of steps to close the loophole, including detaining all migrants who are apprehended at the border, deporting migrants who have been convicted of crimes, and increasing the number of immigration judges to process cases more quickly.
The Biden administration has defended its catch-and-release policy, arguing that it is necessary to ensure that migrants are treated humanely and that they have a fair chance to seek asylum. However, the administration has also acknowledged that the policy has security risks, and it has taken some steps to address those risks.
In March, the Biden administration announced that it would begin detaining all migrant families who are apprehended at the border. However, the policy was only in effect for a few weeks before it was blocked by a federal judge. The administration is currently appealing the judge's ruling.
The Biden administration has also increased the number of immigration judges to process cases more quickly. However, the backlog of cases remains large, and it can take months or even years for migrants to have their cases heard.
The debate over the catch-and-release loophole is likely to continue for some time. The Republican attorneys general are arguing that the loophole is a major security threat, while the Biden administration is arguing that it is necessary to ensure the humane treatment of migrants.
To learn more about Catch and Release Loophole read this article from Fox News. An excerpt of the article has been copied below:
Republican attorneys general, led by Florida AG Ashley Moody, are calling on the Biden administration to fix what they say is a catch-and-release “loophole” — calling for urgency in the wake of the terror attack in Israel.
The coalition of 27 states has written to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling for the agency to make regulatory changes that “close the catch-and-release loophole that [DHS] is currently exploiting to implement its mass release policy at the Southwest border.”
The petition to initiate rulemaking notes language in U.S. Code 1225 that specifies that migrants crossing illegally or presented at a port of entry “shall be detained” if they are not entitled to be admitted.