Brewer, Gosar, Homeland Security Chairman speak out against detainee releases (updated)
Governor Jan Brewer:
I’m appalled to learn the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has begun to release hundreds of illegal aliens from custody, the first of potentially thousands to soon be freed under the guise of federal budget cuts. This is pure political posturing and the height of absurdity given that the releases are being granted before the federal ‘sequestration’ cuts have even gone into effect.
This represents a return to exactly the kind of catch-and-release procedures that have long made a mockery of our country’s immigration system. The news is especially concerning when coupled with DHS’ acknowledgment today that it may not be able to maintain operation of 34,000 immigration jail beds, as mandated by Congress.
Everyone knows the federal government must get a handle on spending, and it is well past time that the President begin working with Congress to find real budget solutions. But we cannot let public safety and the rule of law be collateral damage of the President’s failed leadership to pass a budget.
Rep. Paul Gosar Issues Statement on DHS Releasing Illegal Immigrants
‘Administration does not take our American citizenship or Constitution seriously.’
Washington, D.C. -U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S (AZ-04) issued the following statement after it was announced this week that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released illegal immigrants held in Arizona jails as automatic budget cuts to discretionary spending were set to go in effect.
“It is downright irresponsible and borderline criminal the way President Obama and the DHS released illegal immigrants who knowingly violated our nation’s laws. It is equivalent to admitting they did no wrong. This action by President Obama’s DHS sends a clear message – this administration does not take our American citizenship or our Constitution seriously and is willing to trade both for political posturing.”
“Did the President just take a page out of Fidel Castro’s playbook and release inmates from jails and onto the public?”
Rep. Gosar continued, “This goes to show that the President’s administration is willing to threaten central government functions like public safety in an attempt to achieve their political goals. Public safety is an essential function of government and the American people need not be held victim by the President.”
According to the Associated Press, on Tuesday, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson announced that the agency reviewed “several hundred cases” of illegal immigrants being held in jails around the country and decided to release them the last week in light of upcoming budget cuts.
Chairman McCaul Demands Answers from ICE on Detainee Releases
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) today sent a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton demanding details about the release of illegal immigrants from U.S. detention centers. The letter can be found here and the text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Director Morton:
I am concerned about the recent announcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release a large number of detained persons. This decision reflects the lack of resource prioritization within the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is indicative of the Department’s weak stance on national security.
Congress mandated and provided resources to maintain 34,000 bed spaces for illegal immigrant detainees. As of last week, ICE reported 30,773 spaces filled, in clear violation of statute. I am also concerned that these releases were undertaken without notification to the appropriate Congressional oversight committees.
To better understand the details of these releases, I request you provide the following information, not later than March 6, 2013, relative to individuals already released, pending release, or forecast for release under this new policy:
- Total number of individuals released;
- Total number identified for release;
- Specific timeline and dates for future releases;
- Geographic breakdown of where detainees have been and will be released;
- For each individual, the specific reason for their initial detention;
- For each individual, the amount of time that they had been detained; and
- For each individual, the specific monitoring and tracking actions taken to maintain positive accountability of each person.
Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.
Statement from Senate President on Homeland Security release of criminals fromArizona jails
“The Obama White House is in full damage control tonight, with the resignation of a Homeland Security Department official over the ill-advised decision to release hundreds of illegal immigrants from jails in Arizona and other states. The decision to set free these criminals under the guise of sequestration is politics at its worst and puts public safety in danger.
Instead of sitting down with Republican leaders to come up with a solution to the problem, the administration is fear mongering. It is pretty clear Homeland Security thought the release of dangerous individuals into the community would reinforce their arguments over the seriousness of sequestration, but they badly misjudged their actions.
The political games played by the administration are now putting us all at risk. This must stop. Today’s resignation is hopefully the first sign that the administration realizes it made a big mistake and will stop any more releases.”