Fox News has learned from a senior source with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that a plan is under consideration for Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) to begin releasing illegal border crossers who claim asylum without issuing a Notice to Appear (NTA) – meaning they will depart custody without a court date.
Such a decision would be unprecedented if enacted and would place the responsibility of seeking an asylum hearing on the migrants through Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or legal assistance.
The source says the reasoning for the decision is that the situation has “become so dire that BP [Border Patrol] has no choice but to release people nearly immediately after apprehension because there is no space to hold people even to do necessary NTA paperwork.”
The process of issuing each migrant an NTA can take hours per individual or family. This would not apply to unaccompanied minors.
The RGV, based in Texas, is ground zero for the surge in border crossings and is more than 700% overcapacity.
When migrants are released in the RGV, Border Patrol usually coordinates it with Sister Norma Pimentel and her Catholic Humanitarian Respite Center. Pimentel tells Fox News that she is aware and is “coordinating her response.”
The controversial move allegedly on the table comes as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to open another facility for unaccompanied child migrants in Pecos, Texas, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) announced Saturday.
The Temporary Influx Care Facility would house at least 500 unaccompanied minors to start, with the capacity to house 2,000 children.
Read more at Fox News