Under the bus: Homeland Security official resigns over release of illegals from detention centers; Update: Retiring, not "resigning"

You’ve got to be kidding.

The Associated Press has learned that the Homeland Security Department official in charge of the agency’s immigration enforcement and removal operations has resigned after hundreds of illegal immigrants were released from jails because of government spending cuts.

In an email obtained Wednesday by the AP, Gary Mead told coworkers that he was leaving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the end of April. Mead is the head of enforcement and removal operations at ICE.

So, even though releasing the detainees very conveniently served Obama’s goal of increasing the pants-wetting over sequester cuts while also very conveniently making the amnesty fans in his base happy, this was just Gary Mead going rogue without any direction from the White House. And Obama’s so mad about it that Mead has to clear out his desk immediately two months from now. Let me gently suggest that in the unlikely event Mead really did order this on his own, perhaps he was just acting in the spirit of his boss, who not so subtly suggested a few days ago that if a deal wasn’t reached on cuts ASAP then border security might have to go bye-bye for awhile.

But let’s not join in the scapegoating. Is there any reason why the White House, having quietly ordered Mead to turn up the pressure on Republicans by releasing a few illegals yesterday, would suddenly reverse course and pull the plug on him today? Yes, actually. Check out who the paper of record used as an example in its story yesterday about the illegals who were released:

Among those released in the past week was Anthony Orlando Williams, 52, a Jamaican immigrant who spent nearly three years in a detention center in Georgia. “I’m good, man,” he said. “I’m free.”

Mr. Williams, in a telephone interview from Stone Mountain, Ga., said he became an illegal immigrant when he overstayed a visa in 1991. He was detained in 2010 by a sheriff’s deputy in Gwinnett County, Ga., when it was discovered that he had violated probation for a conviction in 2005 of simple assault, simple battery and child abuse, charges that sprung from a domestic dispute with his wife at the time. He was transferred to ICE custody and has been fighting a deportation order with the help of Families for Freedom, an immigrant support group in New York.

Obama’s willing to take a political risk in releasing nonviolent illegals. He’s not willing to take the risk of releasing child abusers. The public might blame the GOP for the former vis-a-vis putting budget pressure on DHS, but they won’t give the chief executive a pass for not being more discriminating in choosing which illegals go free. Somebody had to pay. Congrats, Gary Mead.

Oh, incidentally, this isn’t the only lie the White House is telling about sequester cuts. Read WaPo’s fact-check of Arne Duncan claiming that teachers are already getting pink slips.

Update: The plot thickens.

Who told the AP that Mead was resigning over the release of illegals? And if he isn’t, yet the White House still insists it didn’t order the release, then who from DHS is getting fired?

Update: Someone just tweeted at me that maybe Mead didn’t resign as a scapegoat; maybe he resigned in protest of the administration’s decision to release the illegals. That’s an interesting theory but it’s contradicted by the last update, assuming the claim about Mead having told staff about this weeks ago is true. Again: Who ordered this? Did no one think to run it by the White House before doing it given the national attention it was sure to receive?