As hundreds of illegal immigrants were released from detention centers into a “supervised monitoring program” this week, the White House on Wednesday denied it had anything to do with the budget-cutting move. White House spokesman Jay Carney and a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said that career officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made the call without involvement from the White House.
Carney, dancing to the Obama scare-the-public-about-the sequester tune, asserted, “This was a decision made by career officials at ICE, without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequester.”
But the GOP wants to know why the illegal immigrants have been released. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the move “outrageous.” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and other GOP leaders are asking for answers. McCaul has demanded that ICE Director John Morton release the data stating how many detainees had been released, where they were sent, and how they are being monitored.
McCaul wrote Morton, “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.” McCaul wanted to know what the future held for releasing illegal immigrants. He also wanted to know why each illegal immigrant was initially detained and how long the immigrant’s detention was. He gave the Administration a one-week deadline.
Even John McCain got in on the act, tweeting his skepticism over the release by asking if it was “the only way to save money?”
Meanwhile, an ICE spokeswoman said the department made the move because of the impending $85 billion in automatic spending cuts.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said that the release endangered the public’s safety.