The head of the Border Patrol union told Fox News Digital on Saturday that a reported Biden administration plan to force migrants to remain in Texas as they are processed for their asylum hearings won’t do anything to secure the border or help agents.
“It’s not going to help border security in any way, shape or form because it means catch-and-releases are going to continue to go on,” Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News Digital. He suggested that the Biden administration is only considering the move in response to complaints from liberal mayors.
The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering a policy to force some illegal migrant families to remain in Texas by tracking them with GPS monitoring devices, including ankle bracelets.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent talks with asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border near Tijuana, Mexico, on May 8, 2023, in San Diego.(AP Photo / Denis Poroy)
The Times reported that the families would be put through an asylum process to determine if they could stay, and if not, they could be more easily deported due to their proximity to the border. The program would be an expansion of the Family Expedited Removal Program, which imposes curfews and monitors families that have traveled to large cities.
In response to the report, a DHS spokesperson said in a statement that the administration “is committed to expanding safe and orderly pathways for migrants to lawfully enter the United States, while imposing consequences for those who fail to use those pathways.”
“Since May 2023, DHS has removed or returned over 200,000 individuals, including over 17,000 individual family unit members,” the spokesperson continued. “DHS continuously holds policy and operational discussions on how to leverage our authorities to ensure a fair, humane, and effective immigration process that efficiently removes those without a lawful basis to stay in the country.”
But the reported plan comes as the administration faces criticism from Democrat mayors and state officials in places like New York and California. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been one of the most vocal critics, saying that the influx of some 110,000 migrants so far threatens to “destroy” the city.
The Border Patrol union has been critical of a number of Biden administration border policies.(AP Photo / Denis Poroy)
This plan would, in theory, limit migrants’ movements and also stop Texas from bussing migrants to those cities – the latter of which leaders say has exacerbated their issues. Judd, however, said that such a move “is not going to alleviate the problem in any way, shape or form” and was dismissive of the enforcement that would be used in that situation.
“Ankle bracelets have never been effective. They will not be effective because we just don’t have the personnel to go after somebody the moment they cut the ankle bracelet. It’s dumb, it’s just another waste of taxpayer dollars,” Judd said.
“Absolutely not because, again, they’re still going to be subject to release,” he said. “They’ll be released into Texas, and they’ll be told to stay in Texas. Well, we know that people that violate our laws, they’re not going to follow our laws once they’ve violated them in the first place. So, what makes anybody think that they’re going to stay in Texas? And they’re not going to.”
Judd said the reason for the reported policy move is for political purposes, not border security.
“All they’re doing this for is to appease Eric Adams and appease the mayor of Los Angeles. That’s the only reason that they’re doing this. This is just more rhetoric,” he said.
Judd’s is the latest criticism against the reported plan, which has also met criticism from immigration activists who say it is cruel and inhumane to migrants. Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said his administration would potentially sue and send “even more buses” of migrants if the plan was put into action.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, primarily covering immigration and border security.