Senate Proposal Considers Ending ‘Catch and Release’


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Amid the expectation, independent Senator from Arizona Kyrsten Sinema revealed some key points that the project would contain in the Face the Nation program, especially details of the potential immigration changes.

Sinema said that the initiative will propose ending a policy known as ‘catch and release’ that allows federal authorities to conditionally release migrants who request asylum at the border and refer their cases to immigration courts so that a judge can decide their future in the United States.

“We have seen the images on television of what is happening in Lukeville, Arizona, and in southern Texas, where a large number of migrants have arrived at the border and are processed and in a certain way released into the country, some with a summons with which they could see a judge in five, seven, 10 years (…) Our (proposal) law puts an end to that and puts an end to the practice of ‘catch and release,'” said Sinema, who was involved in the negotiations on the matter.

According to what Sinema explained, when a migrant arrives at the border in search of asylum they will face two situations if they are successful as the bill would be being drafted in the Senate and the House of Representatives. They will be placed under custody and will be interviewed to determine if they meet the asylum requirements. If they do not comply, they will be returned to their countries, he added.

“For those we cannot detain, such as families, we will ensure that we supervise them for only three months and will conduct the interview with new, more rigorous standards, which will require to show earlier whether or not they qualify for asylum,” he added.

Regarding a potential ‘closure’ of the border in cases of a strong flow of migrants “When many people arrive at the border, asking to come in search of asylum, Now (with the bill) we require the government to ‘close’ the border if that number reaches 5,000 a day,” Sinema said. “But we allow (within the bill) the government to ‘close’ the border when (that number) is only 4,000 arrivals a day. And the reason we do it is because we want to have the ability to ‘shut down’ the system when it becomes saturated,” he added.

This proposal in the Senate that has generated so much expectation is President Joe Biden’s best chance of providing more aid to Ukraine, a key foreign policy goal shared by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell.

The Senate is expected to hold a ‘test vote’ this week, but the initiative has already encountered opposition from conservatives. And, the day before, the Republican leader in the Lower House, Johnson, said that that body will not see quickly this initiative and that it will focus on a bill that only contemplates aid to Israel in the midst of its war with the militant group Hamas in Gaza.

This story contains information from AP.

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