Sessions on catch-and-release at border: ‘It’s still unacceptable’

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions admits that while he has done a lot of good work cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, his department is still understaffed.

Thus, some illegal aliens are merely captured and released in the U.S., in hopes they will show up for a court hearing.

The fact that this still goes on is eating away at Sessions, who has made illegal immigration one of his top priorities as attorney general, with the mandate of President Trump. While it is evident that immigrants recently captured cannot be expected to turn up for their hearings, obtaining the funds to deport each and every illegal captured has been tenuous.

Republicans have long complained about the federal policy that involves detaining illegal immigrants and then releasing them in the hope that they would turn up for their immigration court hearing. Thousands never showed up, which led the Trump administration in February to say they would move to immediately return those illegal immigrants to their home countries.

Despite that change, however, Sessions said the reality is that the government is being overwhelmed with the number of illegal immigrants still coming in, which is why catch and release is still effectively happening.

“It’s not the policy, it’s just the reality that there is so many people claiming and being entitled to hearings that we don’t have the ability to provide those hearings, and they’re being released into the community and they’re not coming back for their hearings,” Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“It’s still unacceptable,” he said.

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