A.G. Sessions announces an end to “Catch and Release”. For those of us legal practitioners, we’ve known about it for weeks!
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that U.S. Immigration enforcement agencies will stop the practice of releasing those aliens found inadmissible at the border. Currently, aliens who approach the border, “arriving aliens”, are eligible to be released under the supervision (Parole) of the Department of Homeland Security. Parole is authorized under the Immigration Act in certain circumstances, limited to: Urgent Humanitarian Reasons, Significant Public Benefit, and those receiving a favorable “Credible Fear” determination from an asylum officer.
Specific examples of humanitarian reasons are reuniting with terminally ill family members, medical treatment, tending to family affairs of a deceased relative. The category of Significant public benefit may involve organ donations, or participation in civil litigation. The more common form has been those who receive a favorable credible fear finding from an asylum officer.
According to A.G. Sessions, the catch and release policy will end. In actuality, it ended soon after inauguration day, January 20th. Since that time, the exercise of parole by U.S. DHS has been rare; at least that’s been the case near the Northern border.