Feds Blame Budget Cuts for the Release of 600 Criminal Aliens Last Year

HOUSTON, Texas -- A newly surfaced report, obtained by FoxNews.com, reveals that more than 600 convicted criminal illegal immigrants were released onto U.S. soil by federal agents in early 2013 due to the "sequester."

The criminals were reportedly set free from jails around the nation in February of last year, as a result of budget cuts.

The watchdog report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General claimed that some of the released aliens had been convicted of serious crimes, according to FoxNews.com. Numerous "level 1" and "level 2" inmates were set free--individuals found guilty of rape, murder, money laundering, and robbery are placed into these categories. 

According to the report, the process for prioritizing such releases was confusing and unclear; in a scramble to make space in detention centers, local ICE officers were not instructed to track the releases of the criminals.

Ultimately, many of the high level released criminals were reportedly put back in federal custody.

The report comes shortly after the revelation that more than 36,000 criminal illegal aliens were set free onto U.S. soil in 2013 alone. According to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) the 36,000 criminals were collectively convicted of 88,000 crimes. These convictions include 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings, 193 homicides, 1,317 domestic violence assaults, and 1,724 weapon offenses.

The report states that the immigrants were being processed for deportation at the time they were released. ICE could have held these individuals in detention, "but released them anyway."

Amid the release of the CIS report, Breitbart Texas discovered that ICE agents had been ordered to stay silent on the matter. "We were given specific instructions not to comment on that report," Greg Palmore, a Texas-based ICE spokesman, told Breitbart Texas. 

Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the CIS said, "We keep hearing from the administration that they are focused like a laser on enforcement against the worst of the worst, convicted criminals, as their top priority. On the other hand, they are releasing, at a rate of about 100 a day, aliens from their custody with criminal convictions, and many of them are serious criminal convictions."

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.


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