Tens of thousands of immigrants who illegally crossed the Mexico border into Texas are in the process of being released into communities throughout the nation rather than being indefinitely detained or immediately deported, a congressman told Watchdog.org.
The releases have already started and the Border Patrol did not disclose how many. At least 60,000 Central Americans have entered the country illegally this year, though some news reports say the figure is as high as 170,000. An effort is under way to place children in foster homes or with relatives already living in the U.S., said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.
The adults are being given a “notice to appear,” something like to a traffic ticket that requires they show up for a deportation hearing. Following that notice, they are simply being released. Those who return for the hearing will face a federal immigration judge to determine their fate.
“You know good and well they won’t show up and we won’t go looking for them,” Gohmert said. “When they get their piece of paper saying report back on such a day at such a time, they take that as their legal permit to stay in the country and they go do what they want.”
A senior Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective who routinely deals with illegal immigrants said a “massive number – 80 to 90 percent” do not show up for deportation hearings. Detention is not even being considered because Homeland Security facilities are not equipped to hold a large number of people, said the detective, who spoke on a guarantee of anonymity.