Andrew Bailey
Missouri Attorney General
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Attorney General Bailey Demands Biden Fix Unlawful Immigration Policies and Secure the Border

Home 9 Press Release 9 Attorney General Bailey Demands Biden Fix Unlawful Immigration Policies and Secure the Border

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined a coalition of 27 states in calling on the Biden administration to fix a catch-and-release “loophole” — calling for urgency in the wake of the terror attack in Israel. The attorneys general submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, urging the agency to make regulatory changes that “close the catch-and-release loophole that [DHS] is currently exploiting to implement its mass release policy at the Southwest border.”

The situation at the southern border has spun out of control, all thanks to Joe Biden and his inept administration,” said Attorney General Bailey. “His refusal to secure the border has resulted in an unprecedented flood of unvetted migrants into the interior of our nation. We have no idea who Joe Biden has allowed into our communities. After what happened in Israel over the weekend, it is more vital than ever that we secure our border and keep Americans safe.

In the Petition for Rulemaking to amend the DHS’s catch-and-release policies, the attorneys general assert that the policies are blatantly unlawful and have horrendous effects on the security of our country. The petition states, “DHS’s mass release policies have been ‘akin to posting a flashing ‘Come In, We’re Open’ sign on the southern border’…In August 2023, Border Patrol released 100,585 aliens under § 1226(a).. Even if the numbers merely remain the same, DHS is releasing aliens at a rate of over one million per year, and that does not include the aliens being released on parole under § 1182(d)(5).”

In addition to unlawfully releasing inadmissible immigrants into the U.S., DHS is giving the migrants released under the unlawful practices a court date many years in the future. DHS’s unlawful decisions are allowing millions of unauthorized immigrants to remain in the U.S. for 15 years or longer before ever approaching a judge’s bench.

The coalition urges DHS to amend its regulations to expressly prohibit the unlawful releases.

The petition states: “The purpose of this Petition to Initiate Rulemaking, 5 U.S.C. § 553(e); 6 C.F.R. §§ 3.1–3.9, is to demand that you fix the problem you created. Specifically, you should promulgate changes to your regulations to close the catch-and-release loophole that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently exploiting to implement its mass release policy at the Southwest Border… The amendment could be made to either 8 C.F.R. § 235 or § 236. And all the amendment needs to say is something to the effect of ‘aliens who are subject to § 1225(b) because they meet the definition of ‘applicant for admission’ in § 1225(a) may not be released under § 1226(a) because that provision does not apply to them’…In other words, the amendment should clarify that § 1225 and § 1226 do not overlap but ‘apply to different classes of aliens.’”

The attorneys general ask Mayorkas that if he disagrees with their position, “we ask that you promptly deny this petition on the basis so we may seek judicial review.”

In addition to Attorney General Bailey, the attorneys general also signed on to the action: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The Petition for Rulemaking can be viewed here.

Since President Biden took office:

  • More than 7 million illegal immigrants, including an estimated 1.5 million ‘gotaways,’ have surged across the border;
  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents seized more than 50,000 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill the U.S. population more than 35 times over; and
  • CBP has identified 264 people on the terrorist watch list at the Southwest border, including 151 in fiscal year 2023.

Attorney General Bailey scored a major win against the Biden Administration earlier this year when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for Missouri’s lawsuit forcing Joe Biden to finish President Trump’s border wall to move forward.