GOP members in the House had a hearing on that release today (The Hill).
Republicans accused the administration of playing politics and balked at why Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton didn’t ask Congress to move money from another part of the agency to better fund its detention efforts.
Morton stressed that career agency officials made the decision to release 2,228 illegal immigrants in February and place them on supervised monitoring programs in an effort to decrease operational costs in the agency ahead of the vast budget cuts under sequestration.
...The administration has said ICE released illegal immigrants who posed the lowest level of risk to the public.
Of the 2,228 illegal immigrants released last month, Morton said 70 percent did not have any prior criminal records and 20 percent had convictions for one or two misdemeanors.
Morton said on Tuesday that ICE had released “many” illegal immigrants who had drunk driving records, but only eight Level-1 criminal offenders, the most severe level of aggravated felons, had been released. Morton said four of those serious criminals had been subsequently detained again, because officials realized they had made a mistake in releasing them.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) focused in on the Level-1 criminal offenders who were released last month, saying that they are a serious danger to the American public.
“I’ve counted six times you have said you didn’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul. I don’t want Peter or Paul to rob one of our fellow citizens because you guessed wrong on who to release,” said Gowdy.
Gowdy said he thought the mass release of illegal immigrants was an attempt by the administration to scare the American public into pressuring Congress to make a deal with the president to avert the sequestration cuts which took effect on March 1. Gowdy grouped the illegal immigrant release with other actions, such as the White House’s temporary cancellation of public tours, reports from the administration about public school teachers who had been furloughed, and the administration’s expressed concern about untested food.So, in other words, this Regime wanted to release people who not only broke our immigration laws, but also drove drunk or committed worse crimes, just so they can scare Americans make a political point.
And of course they won't admit to it either, it was all the work of some lower level flunkie, Meanwhile, we have e-mails going around from various agencies telling their staff to make the cuts painful.