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Breaking: Trump ends this controversial illegal immigration policy

President Trump released a statement Friday ending "catch and release," the controversial immigration enforcement policy that allowed illegal aliens apprehended to be released into the country pending their trial. (Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images)

President Trump ended an controversial immigration enforcement policy called "catch and release," according to a statement from the White House Friday.

Here's what the president did

The office of the press secretary released a statement about the immigration enforcement policy.

"Today, President Donald J. Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum to take important steps to end "catch and release," the dangerous practice whereby aliens who have violated our Nation's immigration laws are released into the United States shortly after their apprehension," the statement read. "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."

"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," the statement concluded.

The order by the president directs Homeland Security to provide to him a report in 45 days "detailing all measures that their respective departments have pursued or are pursuing to expeditiously end 'catch and release' practices."

The president also requested "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."

"Catch and release" was criticized by many because it allowed illegal aliens to stay in the United States freely while awaiting their immigration trial date. Many illegals would simply not show up and stay illegally in the country.

In February 2017, John Kelly, then the secretary of Homeland Security, called for an end to the "catch and release" policy.

“If an immigration officer determines that an arriving alien is inadmissible to the United States under [existing law], the officer shall, consistent with all applicable laws, order the alien removed from the United States without further hearing or review," he said in a memorandum then, "unless the alien is an unaccompanied alien child." Kelly later became the White House chief of staff.

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