Homeland Security Says Move Needed In Advance Of Cuts
Posted: February 26, 2013
WASHINGTON —A week before mandatory budget cuts go into effect across the government, the Department of Homeland Security has started releasing illegal immigrants being held in immigration jails across the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said today.
Gillian Christensen, an ICE spokeswoman, said ICE has reviewed “several hundred cases” of immigrants being held in jails around the country and released them in the last week.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte reacted strongly today to the news of the release.
“By releasing criminal immigrants onto the streets, the administration is needlessly endangering American lives,” Goodlatte said in a statement.
But Christensen said those released have been “placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release,” she said.
She added that the agency’s “priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety.”
Still, Goodlatte called the release “abhorrent,” adding that it undermines efforts at bipartisan immigration reform.
Christensen did not say how released immigrants were selected or what jails they were released from.
Today’s announcement of jail releases is the first tangible impact of the looming budget cuts for DHS.
— Staff Reports