House GOP: We’re going to need to investigate ICE for those released illegal immigrants
posted at 8:01 pm on March 5, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano had one of the starring roles in the White House’s Nightmare-on-Sequester-Street messaging in the run-up to the budget cuts’ implementation last week, warning that “under sequestration, ICE would be forced to reduce current detention and removal operations, potentially affecting public safety, and would not be able to maintain 34,000 detention beds” reserved for detained illegal immigrants awaiting deportation proceedings.
After the backlash following that announcement, however, Napolitano tried to make the case that the decision was up to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials, but they certainly aren’t backing away from the decision — and the GOP is wondering if maybe the Obama administration didn’t go about all of this a little hastily. From the House Judiciary Committee, emphasis mine:
An internal U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) document obtained by the House Judiciary Committee reveals that the agency planned to release thousands of criminal aliens onto the streets to reduce the agency’s costs in light of sequestration. As of February 15, 2013, the document shows that ICE had roughly 31,000 illegal immigrants and criminal aliens in detention – already below the 34,000 mandated by Congress – and planned to reduce that number to less than 26,000 by March 31, 2013. According to sources, roughly 2,000 criminal aliens may have already been released so far. …
Chairman Goodlatte: “An internal document obtained by the House Judiciary Committee shows that Administration officials at ICE prepared cold calculations to release thousands of criminal aliens onto the streets and did not demonstrate any consideration of the impact this decision would have on the safety of Americans. …
“Clearly, there are better ways to save money than to release criminals onto the streets. The House Judiciary Committee has found several ways the Department could save money in light of sequestration, such as reducing staff bonuses and performance awards and using unspent funds from inefficient state and local grant programs. But regardless of sequestration, DHS actually has plenty of funding to pay for the detention of criminal aliens. … The Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing on this issue soon to get down to the bottom of this problematic situation.”
Are they suggesting that the Obama administration might be purposefully deploying the sequester cuts in ways that best suit their political advantage rather than the American people’s best interests? I’m shocked — shocked!
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