facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Release of immigration detainees defended

March 20, 2013 at 7:56 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- The official in charge of U.S. immigration enforcement said releasing more than 2,200 illegal immigrants last month was a money-saving measure, not politics.

Director John T. Morton of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told a House panel the decision was made without consulting the White House or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

"There were no mass releases of criminals," Morton said, "just efforts to live within our budget."

He said among the detainees released, 629 had past criminal convictions. Officials had determined most did not pose security risks, and monitoring bracelets or other measures were used to prevent them from fleeing after their release on bond, he said.

Eight immigrants had committed serious offenses and four were rearrested by immigration agents.

Republicans charge the Obama administration freed illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds as part of its efforts to show impact of sequestration spending cuts that went into effect March 1.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who heads the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration, called the detainee release "a public relations stunt gone wrong" that risked the safety of Americans.

Gowdy said Morton could have found other ways to save.

"You could have easily done that," Gowdy said. "Don't act like you could not have."

Topics: Barack Obama
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Poland buys medium-range missiles from U.S. Poland buys medium-range missiles from U.S.
2
Great white shark circling surfers photographed by drone Great white shark circling surfers photographed by drone
3
Watch: News anchor resigns live on-air to sell pot, '[Expletive] it, I quit' Watch: News anchor resigns live on-air to sell pot, '[Expletive] it, I quit'
4
Rutgers sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs dead after visit to Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house Rutgers sophomore Caitlyn Kovacs dead after visit to Delta Kappa Epsilon frat house
5
Cop-killer suspect Eric Frein possibly spotted, in standoff Cop-killer suspect Eric Frein possibly spotted, in standoff
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback