DHS Declares End Of 'Catch and Release' Of Migrant Families

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 5:47pm
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Except in rare cases, the acting secretary of Homeland Security said Monday that the agency will end a practice that caused thousands of migrant families to be released in Arizona over the past year.

But the group that led a push to open an overnight shelter in Phoenix says it has not been told that federal officials will stop dropping migrants off.

Federal officials announced that starting next week Central American families who seek asylum at the border will be sent back to Mexico while their case plays out. The policy called Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as Remain in Mexico, is used in California and Texas. But it has not been rolled out in Arizona.

Ending widespread use of so-called "catch and release" also means that the government would no longer hand off groups of migrant families to Arizona churches and nonprofits.

The International Rescue Committee in Phoenix led an effort to open an overnight shelter near downtown.

“We have not received any communication from the federal government regarding an end to releases of asylum-seeking families,” Stanford Prescott, community engagement coordinator for the IRC in Phoenix, wrote in an email.

Homeland Security officials in Washington, D.C., did not respond to questions.

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