Is it a coincidence that Gary Mead, the director of Enforcement and Removal Operations for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is suddenly retiring after DHS came under fire for releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants?
The Associated Press doesn't appear to think so. The AP theorized that Mead may be taking the fall for the action by DHS. The AP’s coverage noted that Mead had "resigned after hundreds of illegal immigrants were released from jails because of government spending cuts."
That's not the case, said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen. “The Associated Press’ report is inaccurate and misleading. Gary Mead announced several weeks ago to ICE senior leadership that he planned to retire after 40 years in federal service and 6 years at ICE," she claimed. "As planned, and as shared with ICE staff weeks ago, Mr. Mead will retire at the end of April."
The White House claimed they had nothing to do with the whole affair. ICE asserted that the release of the immigrants was to cut costs because of sequestration.
Mead sent an email announcing his retirement to colleagues only hours after ICE announced it had released hundreds of detainees.