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The game of catch-and-release

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 20, 2006 11:27 PM

See, I told you so. This morning I told you that the immigration raid dog-and-pony show would result in most of the illegal aliens arrested being released. The New York Times reports in tomorrow’ edition (hat tip Thomas Galvin):

The arrests took place just days before the Senate reconvenes with immigration laws on its agenda. Earlier this month, the Senate faltered in its efforts to develop a proposal that would have given most illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens while intensifying border patrol and deportation efforts. And in recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters have demonstrated in response to a bill passed in the House in December that would speed deportations, tighten border security and criminalize illegal immigrants.

In the action on Wednesday, federal officials detained 1,187 illegal immigrants working in 26 states for IFCO Systems North America, a subsidiary of a company based in the Netherlands that supplies plastic containers and wood pallets used to ship a variety of goods, from fruit to computers.

Of the 1,187 detained workers, 275 have already been deported to Mexico. The rest are being processed for deportation, although many may be released on bond.

Released…never to be seen again.


Reader H. reports from Houston:

Local Houston News is reporting that they released the majority of the “undocumented” workers. The ICE agent that was speaking went out of his way to say that the were no politics involved. Heaven forbid they actually show backbone. You were right on the catch and release. Amazingly, these people were told to return to court on a later date based on their, get this, signature.

More from KHOU:

There was a crackdown Wednesday and dozens of illegal immigrants were arrested. Many of those same immigrants were released just hours laterIt was the last thing they, and their families, expected. “They are not criminals. All they’re here for is to work for their family,” said Mariz Gomez. And that’s what they were doing making wooden pallets at two different locations when federal agents swooped in and took nearly 70 suspected undocumented workers to this federal detention center in north Houston.

“Just for them to come in here and to just throw them back to where they go. That’s not right for them,” said Gomez.

Families 11 News spoke with feared the men mostly from Central American countries would be deported.

But that was hardly the case.

Just five hours later Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents began releasing the undocumented workers.

“I was surprised by the quick release,” said a man who asked that his face not be shown. Several others made the same request.

It is not clear why these immigrants were released so quickly but workers say it may be because the 950-bed facility was severely overcrowded.

The workers say they were told the facilities were full. Sources inside the facility say the same thing and that agents have been ordered to release immigrants as soon as possible.

Some of the workers say there were other problems Wednesday.

They said computers went down and agents had to scribble information, in one case, failing to write in a court date altogether.

The men we spoke with promised to show up for their immigration hearings, still finding it hard to believe they were released so soon.

Yup. Happens every day. Told you so.

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Categories: Border Patrol, Feature Story, Homeland Security, Immigration