Republicans incensed at release of immigrants awaiting hearings
PHOENIX (AP) — Republican Gov. Jan Brewer says she’s appalled to hear that the Department of Homeland Security has begun releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants from custody.
It’s the first of potentially thousands of immigrants to soon be freed before mandatory federal budget cuts go into effect.
The Obama administration has been issuing dire warnings about the impact of the automatic budget cuts.
A spokesperson for ICE told Talking Points Memo, those being released will still need to appear before an Immigration judge and their cases continue.
“The detainees who’ve been released can be characterized as non-criminals and other low risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories that would subject them to mandatory detention,” spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez told TPM on Wednesday. “Detainees with serious criminal histories are a detention priority and have not been released.”
Brewer calls the releases granted before Friday’s deadline for automatic budget cuts “pure political posturing.”
Brewer says “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.”
She adds that public safety may be threatened by the immigrants‘ release.
ICE officials say the immigrants released have been placed on “an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release.”