Tom Feeley, former director of the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Office in Buffalo, claims that illegal immigrants entering the country through the southern border are being released in large numbers into the country to accommodate new immigrants, contradicting statements by the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that the borders are closed.
During a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Monday, September 20, when Republican Senator Ron Johnson asked Secretary Mayorkas, the ultimate authority on immigration issues, whether the U.S. borders are closed, the official responded in the affirmative.
“Of the 1.3 million people that we’ve apprehended, how many have been returned, how many people are being detained, and how many people have been dispersed? And I want some numbers here,” Johnson asked.
After intense debate, the secretary responded, “Senator, I don’t have that data before me.”
Mayorkas said Monday, addressing those trying to enter the country illegally, “If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s lives. This administration is committed to developing safe, orderly and humane pathways for migration. This is not the way to do it.”
However, according to the former ICE director’s statements to Fox News, many of these illegal immigrants are released in destinations such as Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Yakima, Washington, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – without going through the proper legal process – under pressure from central authorities seeking to make room for new immigrants entering the country illegally.
Feeley explains that the standard procedure is to transport immigrants from the southern border to ICE facilities in different parts of the country where they are detained for illegal entry.
But instead of deporting them, Feeley alleges, they are being released.
“It’s happening on a grand scale. They’re getting pounded every day fielding calls from headquarters about who they can release to make room for more people on the border. And the following week, they’re getting more calls almost daily, again, about who can you release to make room for more people on the border,” Feeley asserted.
Feeley added, “So basically all we’re doing is we’re catching them at the border, shipping them into the interior, releasing them and getting more and then releasing them and then getting more and releasing them.”
The catch and release policy was terminated under the Trump Administration but was reinstated when Biden assumed the presidency.
However, an ICE spokesperson told Fox News that there is a procedure where each immigrant’s status is reviewed before releasing them.
“ICE considers a variety of factors, including an individual’s criminal record, immigration history, ties to the community, health and rehabilitation efforts. Over the past several weeks, ICE has released numerous immigrants who transferred from the border after determining they could safely be released into the community under alternate forms of supervision,” the spokesperson said.
Fox News separately contacted ICE officials seeking comment on Feeley’s allegations but did not get a response. Just as Mayorkas failed to provide numbers on the Senate floor, Fox News says ICE did not give the number of immigrants being released into the United States, making it impossible to verify Feeley’s allegation.
The former ICE director said they release immigrants with the simple instruction to call authorities once a month before they have a hearing that could take months or years. In this time frame, many immigrants have children, making it difficult for them to be deported later.
Secretary Mayorkas himself admitted in a leaked audio that the immigration system was collapsing and that the situation at the border was out of control.
According to Feeley, the other two agencies involved in the detention and subsequent release of immigrants are Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and the Department of Health and Human Services, the latter in charge of transporting children without parents.
Both agencies denied the allegations of former Buffalo ICE Director Tom Feeley.