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Secret report: Catch and release for low-priority illegals proposed

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The memo said the draft policy was written by senior agency leaders.

George E. McCubbin III, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents rank-and-file agents, said he understands why Homeland Security would want to have a similar policy across its agencies, but added that telling agents to let some people go sends the wrong message. He also said the draft policy would give the administration leeway to fiddle with key yardsticks used to measure the illegal immigration problem and potential solutions.

“This gives the agency an out when they want so the numbers don’t reflect too many prosecutions or too many deportations — whatever it is that they’re looking for, this gives them, I think, another tool to manipulate the numbers,” he said.

The memo pointedly warns that “no public mention” should be made of the policy in order to keep it from being subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

The memo says the policy was drafted at the behest of immigrant rights groups. Mr. McCubbin said he wished his agents had been consulted.

“It’s frickin’ unbelievable,” he said. “They should be talking to the rank and file, the folks that should be doing the job.”

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Stephen Dinan

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