US now detaining nearly all non-Mexican illegals caught crossing southern border

[JURIST] US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff [official profile] said Wednesday that US Border Patrol [official website] officials are now detaining nearly all non-Mexican illegal immigrants [DHS fact sheet] caught crossing the US-Mexico border for an average of 21 days before releasing them to their home countries. Fulfilling a promise [JURIST report] made by DHS leaders last fall, US officials detained 99 percent of non-Mexican immigrants stopped in the first two weeks of August, which amounts to nearly 2,000 people; Mexicans caught sneaking across the border are typically returned home immediately.

The new policy ending the former practice of "catch and release" has resulted in a 20,000 drop in the number of illegal immigrants caught crossing the border between this summer and the same period last year, Chertoff said. A new DHS study [PDF text] released earlier this month estimates that the number of illegal immigrants living in the US increased by half a million [JURIST report] between January 2005 and January 2006; a study released in March by the Pew Hispanic Center [research website] estimates that the number of illegal immigrants now living in the US [JURIST report] has risen to 12 million. The Bush administration, however, has made tighter immigration and border security [JURIST news archive] a priority this term. In May, the White House [official website] announced a plan to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops [JURIST report] to help curb illegal immigration [JURIST report] from Mexico, a controversial move that has been referred to by opponents as militarization of the border. AP has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.