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Trump signs memo ordering end to 'catch and release' practices
President Trump signed a memorandum on Friday ordering agencies to "expeditiously end" the practice known as "catch and release" that allows immigrants caught in the U.S. without proper documents to be released from detention while their cases play out in court.
The memo signed by Trump orders the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with other agencies, to submit a report to the president within 45 days "detailing all measures that their respective departments have pursued or are pursuing to expeditiously end 'catch and release' practices."
The report instructs departments to share information on any contracts to construct or operate detention facilities along the border as well as steps taken to assign asylum officers at detention facilities, among other measures.
As part of the order, Trump is requesting "a detailed list of all existing facilities, including military facilities, that could be used, modified, or repurposed to detain aliens for violations of immigration law at or near the borders of the United States."
Trump has also directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to identify any other resources or steps "that may be needed to expeditiously end 'catch and release' practices."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders characterized catch and release, the practice of paroling detained immigrants who await a court's determination on their status, as "dangerous."
"The safety and security of the American people is the President's highest priority, and he will keep his promise to protect our country and to ensure that our laws are respected," she said in a statement.
"At the same time, the President continues to call on congressional Democrats to cease their staunch opposition to border security and to stop blocking measures that are vital to the safety and security of the United States," she added.