On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum ordering the end of the immigration policy known as “catch and release.”
The memorandum was addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and acting Secretary of State John Sullivan.
By reception of the memorandum, Nielsen, Mattis, Sessions, and Azar are required to submit reports within 45 days about how their departments are pursuing or have pursued ending the program.
In addition to information about various measures, the president requested a list of all facilities, including military ones, that could be used as detention centers.
It also called for a report from Nielsen and Sullivan outlining all measures that are being taken against countries that refuse to take back their citizens. The report is required within 60 days.
“Catch and release” is an immigration policy that allows undocumented immigrants to be released from federal custody while they await a court hearing.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders applauded Trump's memorandum and called “catch and release” a “dangerous practice.”
“The safety and security of the American people is the president's highest priority, and he will keep his promise to protect our country and to ensure that our laws are respected,” she said in a statement.
She added that as Trump continues to push for his immigration policies, he also encourages Democrats to end their “staunch opposition” to border security and to “stop blocking measures that are vital to the safety and security of the United States.”
Trump's announcement about ending “catch and release” came on the heels of his decision to send National Guard troops to the border in anticipation of the arrival of a large caravan of South American migrants.