After years of arresting illegal immigrants at the border and on the streets, federal agents charged with protecting the homeland are now *pinching* pennies – releasing hundreds of felons and non citizens already put behind bars. “The cost is ten dollars a day as opposed to 120 dollars a day when they are held in a detention facility,” says Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, (D-CA)
In a statement Tuesday, immigration and customs enforcement claims potential budget cuts mandated by the sequester prompted the release of some 300 inmates in Arizona alone on Saturday and perhaps more later.
“As ICE made clear, the agency released low risk detainees to ensure detention levels stayed within budget.” Jay Carney, white house press secretary.
ICE currently holds some 30,000 criminal non citizens in prisons around the country, 4,000 *fewer*than mandated by congress. Latino advocates long criticized jail detention as inhumane, and pressured the agency to develop alternatives. Today several republican congressmen accused the administration of using the sequester to justify the illegal’s release
It’s a policy that’s soft on illegal immigration. It’s a policy they want to effectuate. They want to use sequestration as a guise to get that policy done. And again, I think it’s a reckless one,” rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX),chairman house homeland security committee.
In a letter today, congressman McCaul asked ice where and how many detainees it planned to release, along with their criminal records. “The detainees in question are not dangerous criminals. They pose no risk to society.” says Allard. Cops say otherwise. “Theft, burglary, robbery, aggravated assault,” Paul Babeu, Arizona sheriff. Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu says the inmates released into his county are anything but non violent. He fears many will reoffend and disappear. “This idea of supervised release is laughable these are multiple border crossers – they couldn’t stop them at the an international border how on earth are they going to provide supervised release and supervision over these criminals,” Babeu says. ICE claims the detainees while free – are not supposed to leave and must promise to show up in court. Some are required to call in and others may wear an ankle bracelet. In Los Angeles, William Lajeunesse, Fox news.