New York Republican Rep. John Katko, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Just the News that he’s “looking into” whether the Biden Administration’s decision to release thousands of migrants without court dates is a violation of law.
The released migrants were reportedly asked to report to Immigration and Customs Enforcement but only a small percentage followed through. The administration recently allowed the release of an unknown number of Haitian migrants without court dates.
“What the current immigration policy is, is they don’t get a court date before they get released,” Katko said Friday on Capitol Hill. “That’s what this administration has decided to do. What they’ve basically said is, they get a piece of paper saying in six months or whatever, call this number, and we’ll tell you when your court date is. And so obviously, 90 to 99% of them will not do that, and that’s a huge problem.”
Katko was asked if the Biden administration’s actions are in violation of the law or an administrative issue.
“I think it’s more of an administrative prerogative, technically, but it’s a good question, whether it’s a violation of law, we’re looking into it, but it’s not clear,” he replied. “But it’s clear that this administration has made the decision to release them into our country with virtually no chance that they’ll be showing up for their hearings.
“Think about what they’re asking them to do. Don’t call us until this date and on this date, after you’ve settled into our country —where you have much more than you had in your own country you came from — then at that point call us so we can start deportation proceedings against you. I mean, come on, man, you know, they’re not going to do that.”
Calling the administration’s mishandling of the border crisis “stunning,” Katko described some of the consequences of the Biden Department of Homeland Security allowing the release of thousands of migrants seeking asylum into the U.S. without formal court dates.
“It’s an open border, and once you get into the country, if they let you stay, it’s going to be very, very difficult for them to ultimately get you to leave,” he said. “And that’s the reality. You know what? The bottom line is, we have people in my district that go to bed hungry every night, American citizens, and we’re spending billions down at the border on this nonsense. It’s not right. There’s no other country that will put up with what we’re putting up with.”
Katko said not issuing notices to appear in court before releasing asylum seekers stopped at the border is “definitely a very significant divergence from what the traditional policies were” under previous Democratic and Republican administrations.