A top Homeland Security official told Border Patrol agents the Obama administration has “no intention of deporting” many of the illegal immigrants caught trying to sneak into the country, ordering instead that they be released so they don’t clog up the courts, a leading advocate for agents testified to Congress.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said the orders are a new “catch and release” policy, which he said “amounts to amnesty” because it means many illegal immigrants are never asked to leave the country.

It also suggests the Border Patrol is being ordered to break President Obama’s own enforcement priorities, which say new illegal immigrants — defined as those who came after Dec. 31, 2013 — are priorities for deportation, and are supposed to be arrested and processed.

Mr. Judd provided his testimony in written answers released Monday by the House Judiciary Committee, saying that even in some criminal cases, agents are ordered to let illegal immigrants go without ever issuing them a Notice to Appear, or NTA, which is what puts them into deportation proceedings.

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