By Isabel Van Brugen
Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) on Tuesday called on Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to abolish the Biden administration’s “catch and release” immigration policy, saying that it threatens local communities.
The Republican lawmaker sent Mayorkas a letter after the Department of Homeland Security ordered the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department to release illegal immigrants onto the streets of his district under the immigration policy.
“I cannot sit idly by while people in the Department of Homeland Security jeopardize the safety of my constituents. I urge Secretary Mayorkas to immediately revise the policies of catch and release that are threatening our communities,” Fallon said in the letter.
He added, “If there is need for a legislative fix, I stand ready to work with anyone who is willing to close the floodgates and put the lives and safety of American citizens first.”
Fallon in his letter made reference to an incident last week that saw the release of 15 individuals from Guatemala who had illegally crossed the southern border, including one who had previously been arrested in both Guatemala and Peru.
“While this is alarming enough, it was then revealed by one of the women that they were apparent victims of sex trafficking and being transported through Franklin County for that purpose,” he wrote.
They were ordered released by the DHS back into the community because “they did not fit current guidelines for deportation,” Fallon wrote.
The Biden administration’s “silence on these issues makes them culpable in human trafficking, drug smuggling, and the violence associated with such crimes.”
Fallon added, “I have no doubt that this situation will only get worse as the administration continues these policies. I urge you in the strongest way possible to end these practices immediately.”
The apprehensions of people crossing the border illegally have substantially increased in recent months.
Border Patrol agents detained more than 150,000 illegal border crossers last month, former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said on March 30, citing internal data.
Fallon joins a growing number of Texas lawmakers who have called out President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.
Separately, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this month called on Biden to restore his predecessor’s immigration policies, arguing that this would be the most effective way to curb the flow of illegal immigrants at the U.S. southern border.
“This problem will continue to get worse because of the policies that have been adopted by the Biden administration,” Abbott told Fox News.
Upon taking office, Biden signed executive orders to quickly overturn several Trump-era immigration policies that curbed the flow of illegal border crossings. This includes his predecessor’s cornerstone Migrant Protection Protocols, or “Remain in Mexico” program, which effectively ended the Obama administration’s “catch and release” protocol given to U.S. border officers and significantly reduced the number of migrants arriving at the southern border in 2019.
In a return to the Obama-era policies, the Biden administration is again releasing unaccompanied minors into the country. Republicans argue that Biden’s act has been interpreted as a green light for prospective migrants seeking to enter and stay in the United States.
The Epoch Times reached out to the DHS for comment.
Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.