Detained immigrants released; officials cite sequester cuts

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_arrestLos Angeles Times, 2/26/2013

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have released “several hundred” immigrants from deportation centers across the country, saying the move is an effort to cut costs ahead of budget cuts due to hit later this week. Announcing the news Tuesday, ICE officials said that the immigrants were released under supervision and continue to face deportation. After reviewing hundreds of cases, those released were considered low-risk and “noncriminal,” officials said.

The releases took place over the last week and were an effort “to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget,” said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christiansen, citing uncertainty caused by a budget standoff in Washington. “All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety,” she said.

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