The Head of the Border Patrol stated that a May U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidance memo directing border agents to release illegal immigrants into the interior of the U.S. in anticipation of an increase at the border if Title 42 was officially ended — is unprecedented in the 31 years he has been with the agency.
Raul Ortiz of the Border Patrol made these remarks under oath during an audio recording of the July 28 deposition. This was first obtained by Fox News Digital as part of discovery for a lawsuit brought by Ashley Moody, Florida Attorney General, against the Department of Homeland Security.
Ortiz responds to a series of questions on “Exhibit 3,” a Border Patrol internal emergency memo signed by the chief on May 19, 2022. It is titled “Noncitizen Releases from U.S. Border Patrol Custody.” The emergency memo states that border agents won’t be able to transport large numbers or illegal aliens across the southern border to the U.S., if Title 42, currently in limbo at the courts, is repealed.
This guidance is intended for situations when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, (ICE)/Enforcement and Remove Operations (ERO) cannot accept custody of noncitizens. According to the May 19 memo, noncitizens should be released directly from USBP custody in order to avoid overcrowding and excessive times in custody.
Counselors for Florida Attorney General asked Ortiz about the memo. He responded that it was a memorandum he signed on May 19th, 2022. It discusses the noncitizen releases from custody.
The Florida lawyer continued by asking, “In your 31 years of service with Border Patrol, have I ever seen a document? Or a memorandum similar to Exhibit 3?”
“Would it be possible for you to agree that Exhibit 3 addresses the possibility of Title 42 being rescinded?” I asked the lawyer.
“Yes,” replied Ortiz.
“And if ICE are unwilling or unable transfer aliens, this memo authorizes each sector to release aliens to the interior of United States.” Continued the attorney.
Ortiz said, “Well it authorizes them for them to release them in the communities they were apprehended.”
“And does Exhibit 3 allow the release of aliens that would otherwise not be admissible into the United States?” The lawyer continued.
Ortiz responded in the affirmative, “Yes.”
Fox News Digital previously heard from the CBP, “As a matter of policy U.S. Customs and Border Protection generally doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits.”
Florida’s Attorney General is accusing Biden Administration of only having one solution for mass migration after Title 42 ends. It is the mass release of illegal immigrants into the U.S. interior.
Fox News Digital spoke to Moody, saying that “the Biden administration’s failed immigrant policies are catastrophic.” Biden’s Border Patrol devised a plan for allowing illegal immigrants to flood the country in order to avoid being overrun. But for the efforts of our office and other responsibly minded, public-safety oriented attorneys general, Title 42 would have been repealed and Biden would have released untold thousands of additional immigrants into the interior of our country–outrageous!”
The Department of Homeland Security stated that it has a plan to terminate Title 42. It also acknowledged that the surge would “substantially strain” resources at the border.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated that “when the Title 42 public safety order is lifted,” we expect migration levels to increase as smugglers will look to exploit and profit from vulnerable migrants. He made this statement in a memo describing the agency’s “plan” for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness, which was released in April.
The memo details a “whole government plan to prepare and manage increased encounters by noncitizens on our Southwest Border.”
This fiscal year has seen more than 2,000,000 migrants cross the southern border.
Ortiz was also questioned during the deposition: “What is a Broken Arrow?”
He responded: “Typically, it is in the context of operations, unsustainable operational circumstances.” While we still had processes in place and we expected most of the encounters on the southwest frontier would be facilitated by us NGOs we also recognized that we would face some challenges in certain locations.
Ortiz also stated that President Biden’s border policies are “no consequence” for illegal immigrants traveling into the U.S., and are responsible for the extraordinary surge at the border as well as the release of hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of migrants into the interior.