Cruz: Biden’s Policies Responsible for 430,000 Percent Increase in Catch-and-Release at Border

Melanie Arter | October 7, 2021 | 4:38pm EDT
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Haitian migrants rest as they cross the jungle of the Darien Gap, near Acandi, Choco department, Colombia, heading to Panama, on September 26, 2021, on their way trying to reach the US. - From Acandi, they started on foot -- and armed with machetes, lanterns and tents -- the dangerous trek of at least five days to Panama through the Darien jungle, battling snakes, steep ravines, swollen rivers, tropical downpours and criminals often linked to drug trafficking. (Photo by RAUL A
Haitian migrants rest as they cross the jungle of the Darien Gap, near Acandi, Choco department, Colombia, heading to Panama, on September 26, 2021, on their way trying to reach the US. (Photo by RAUL A

( – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Wednesday that the Biden administration’s immigration policies are responsible for a 430,000 percent uptick in catch-and-release numbers on the southern border, because on day one of his administration, President Joe Biden stopped construction of the border wall, ended the Remain in Mexico policy, and continued catch and release.

“The Washington Times reported on Sunday that catch and release numbers increased more than 430,000 percent this August compared to last August – 430,000 percent. That’s a percentage so big you almost think it’s a typo,” Cruz said.

According to the Washington Times,

In August 2020, the Trump administration managed something stunning. Border Patrol agents caught more than 47,000 illegal immigrants and immediately released just 10 of them into the interior.

This August, under President Biden, the Border Patrol made more than 195,000 arrests and released 43,941 people — an increase of more than 430,000%.

“The Biden Department of Homeland Security is preparing for up to 400,000 illegal immigrants to cross the border this month. We are seeing tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants,” Cruz said.

The senator said that a couple of weeks ago, he was in Del Rio, Texas, and saw 10,503 Haitian migrants camped out under the Del Rio bridge, overwhelming DHS’s capacity.

“Just over a week ago, I met with the Foreign Minister of Panama. She described how this year, the country of Panama – Panama sits on the juncture between South America and North America. This year, they have seen over 80,000 Haitians who had been living in South America crossing into Panama illegally on their way to the United States,” he said.

Cruz said that’s because the president and vice president refuse to enforce the law.

“Those are decisions they made literally the first day in office. Three decisions drove this crisis – immediately halting construction of the border wall – that happened on day one; reinstituting the failed policy of catch and release – that also happened on day one; and most indefensibly ending the incredibly successful Remain in Mexico international agreement,” he said.

“Remain in Mexico last year produced the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. This year because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris refuse to enforce the law, have continued to be utterly lawless, we are seeing the highest rate of illegal immigration in 21 years. This is a human catastrophe, a disaster. Texas is paying the price,” the senator said.

“The last couple of weeks, I did roundtables with farmers and ranchers in south Texas who described the chaos of finding dead bodies on their ranch land day after day after day, who described – moms in south Texas who described that they wouldn’t let their teenage children go outside unless they carried a loaded firearm because there’s so many human traffickers and narcotics traffickers crossing across their properties,” Cruz said.

“This is a humanitarian crisis. It’s a public health crisis. It’s a national security crisis, and right now Joe Biden and Kamala Harris refuse to do a damn thing about it. Joe Biden won’t even go to the southern border, and Kamala Harris refuses to go to the Rio Grande Valley – the epicenter of this tragedy. This tragedy needs to end, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris needs to follow the law,” he said.

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