Last Updated:September 16 @ 07:27 am

ICE Admits Releasing Thousands of Illegal Immigrants

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration reversed itself Thursday, acknowledging to Congress that it had, in fact, released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants from immigration jails due to budget constraints during three weeks in February.

The director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, said his agency had released 2,228 illegal immigrants during that period for what he called "solely budgetary reasons." The figure was significantly higher than the "few hundred" immigrants the Obama administration had publicly acknowledged were released under the budget-savings process. He testified during a hearing by a House appropriations subcommittee.

Morton told lawmakers Thursday that the decision to release the immigrants was not discussed in advance with political appointees, including those in the White House or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. He said the pending automatic cuts known as sequestration was "driving in the background."

"We were trying to live within the budget that Congress had provided us," Morton told lawmakers. "This was not a White House call. I take full responsibility."

The Associated Press, citing internal budget documents, reported exclusively on March 1 that the administration had released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants since Feb. 15 and planned to release 3,000 more in March due to looming budget cuts, but Napolitano said days later that the AP's report was "not really accurate" and that the story had developed "its own mythology."

"Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn't thousands," Napolitano said March 4 at a Politico-sponsored event.

On March 5, the House Judiciary Committee publicly released an internal ICE document that it said described the agency's plans to release thousands of illegal immigrants before March 31. The document was among those reviewed by the AP for its story days earlier.

The immigrants who were released still eventually face deportation and are required to appear for upcoming court hearings. But they are no longer confined in immigration jails, where advocacy experts say they cost about $164 per day per person. Immigrants who are granted supervised release - with conditions that can include mandatory check-ins, home visits and GPS devices - cost the government from 30 cents to $14 a day, according to the National Immigration Forum, a group that advocates on behalf of immigrants.

Morton said Thursday that among the immigrants released were 10 people considered the highest level of offender. Morton said that although that category of offender can include people convicted of aggravated felonies, many of the people released were facing financial crimes. Four of the most serious offenders have been put back in detention. Other people released include immigrants who had faced multiple drunken driving offenses, misdemeanor crimes and traffic offenses, Morton said.

After the administration challenged the AP's reporting, ICE said it didn't know how many people had been released for budget reasons but would review its records.

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34 Comments

  1. proudpatriotComment by proudpatriot
    March 15, 2013 @ 3:26 am

    If these clowns wanted to release criminals then why not just ship them back to their own country. Would prove to be a whole lot cheeper for our country. All from the highest office involved to the lowest person involved in these releases should be charged with at least aiding and abetting. We all know these that were relieased are going to commit more criminal activity. This act of release of these criminals is something that only a dolt would do.

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    • nax777Comment by nax777
      March 15, 2013 @ 9:58 am

      And in this country only dolt voters would allow.
      Rand Paul worries about sending aid and munitions to Islamic States. Why does Rand have no problem with increasing Islamic immigration annual numbers from 89,000 to 700,000 since 9/11/01?
      Could it be Rand thinks his adoring voters will not care and still think that Rand is making a difference?!
      When you think you have “nowhere else to go” you deserve what you get just like the Dem voters.
      They will pass gun control bills and increase net (legal and illegal) immigration with the properly selected Pubs.
      Nothing like having two or more fronts to keep the enemy (the people) divided and weary.
      http://www.saynotoamnesty.com / http://www.goooh.com

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    • marciaComment by marcia
      March 15, 2013 @ 10:00 am

      Obama has caught a lot of heat on releasing illegals and the ONLY illegals that were being released were those w/o a record. BUT NOW..due to all the backlash, he has decided to not release illegals (or so he says) and will return to the original idea of furloughs for ICE agents.

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      Rating: 3.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  2. tomtComment by tomt
    March 15, 2013 @ 4:05 am

    Okay! He has opened this door he cannot close, Let us see our Legislators Move, move and move NOW to charge this Agenda driven counterfeit American. After all the time, cost and effort to roundup these individuals, only to be set loose on the public in mass to try and prove the point, he cannot operate on 2% less than the full 10% (now 8%) increase in the budget. We deal with losses all the time and work around them.
    Community Organizer Commie School doesn’t teach how to work with what you have. Instead they learn how to abscond with 49.6 Million from Annenburg Foundation supposedly for improving schools, Then blow it all somewhere else but on the schools. Now unaccounted for.

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    • kid721952Comment by kid721952
      March 15, 2013 @ 4:34 am

      Naturally it strained their budget,if they even had a budget,not because of the sequester but because obama ordered ICE not to deport any more illegals which overcrowded our detention centers then letting these “convicted illegal immigrants” back on our streets by our government just supports our 2nd amendment to protect ourselves and our families from thieves,rapists,murderers,gangs,drug dealers,third world countries and since obama protection from OUR OWN GOVERNMENT,this is the EXACT REASON why our 2nd amendment was created “tyranny from the government”,obama created a monster with the sequester which was his idea and he signed into law but since it did not inflict enough pain on Americans he will make sure it does,the illegals,the closing of the white house to tours,not moving our air craft carrier to the persian gulf,etc.

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    • marciaComment by marcia
      March 15, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

      KID..as much as I dislike Obama for what he is attempting to do to America, “convicted” people with or without documentation are not going free. And, as for sequestration, Obama did not create it…please go research sequestration and find out how, when,why & by whom it was created. We had hoped it would never have to be used.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      March 15, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

      Marcia, the point is the criminal aliens who have entered this country in violation of federal immigration laws have been detained and are awaiting hearings. Yes, they ARE going free because they were released before they went through due process. Why do deportation hearings take so long that we have 30,000 criminals locked up waiting for their hearings? These immigration judges could handle 25-50 cases per day and when an individual is brought in for a hearing, if he can’t furnish a birth certificate or evidence that he is a naturalized citizen, the judge orders deportation and he goes out the door and onto the bus. There should be a constant flow of buses heading for the border. These judges and border patrol agents are already on the government payroll, so let them do their jobs. Immigration laws should be enforced, and that includes the one that makes it illegal for any employer to hire one. Obama should be impeached because he used his sequestration tantrum to release these people.

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    • marciaComment by marcia
      March 15, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

      BNA, The line with reasons to get rid of Obama forms behind me…but we don’t need buses! I don’t care about P.C or being called a racist..tougher security at the borders to send EVERYONE BACK.! If you wear a burqa, a turban, a ten gallon hat, a long kimono, or a snow mask do not get offended when u are stopped in America.! BNA, you say the agents are “on the gov’t's payroll”, DUH literally they are! But I bet when u need help u don’t hesitate to dial 911. I wonder how quick u are to check the backgrounds of all the people who do some work for u? Do u pay them in cash as well? Hmm…The REAL individuals I was referring to are the ones who are gang members who decapitate others to make a statement. OR the people trying to enter the U.S. and set up explosives. Those r the lovely members of our society that Mr. O considers to be the faces of a new America.

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  3. GHUComment by GHU
    March 15, 2013 @ 4:13 am

    The continued cover-up, lying, incompetence, and disregard for the citizens of the USA and the Constitution by Obama, Napolitano and the rest of his sorry administration is unbelievable! This man….Barack Hussein Obama (umm, umm, umm) should be impeached!

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      March 15, 2013 @ 4:48 am

      “Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn’t thousands,” Napolitano said March 4 at a Politico-sponsored event.”

      Janet caught in another lie, but still no outrage from Congress or the media.

      I would like to see WHY it would cost $164 per day to keep one of these illegal aliens locked up yet only $14 per day to monitor them while walking around in society. Where is the additional $150 spent? Maybe they are fed kobi beef!

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    • bulletfish2013Comment by bulletfish2013
      March 15, 2013 @ 10:14 am

      they have to pay the Union Guards to look after them, pay the huge bill to their “friends’ who operate the prison and on, pay the over site community and on and on… It’s the Government, they payout to the highest bidder, not the lowest.

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      March 15, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

      Even more unbelievable is a congress that sits around and does nothing to stop this criminal and unconstitutional activity.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
    • jtmfc53Comment by jtmfc53
      March 15, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

      This has been going on since this administration started. Several months ago US Customs enforcement head wrote a memo to all border patrol officers to slow down the detaining Illegal aliens. He hindered border patrol officers from doing the job they are trained to do. There were also admonitions not to arrest anyone illegal for a minor infraction like DRUNKEN DRIVING or there would be repercussions. Do you think they meant that message was for the illegal drunk??-Well you’d be wrong! the message was for the Border Patrol units working in the field. One officer did arrest an illegal DUI with several past DUI’S on his record, but the officer brought the man into the station and was ordered to let the man go,he refused and was suspended. The DUI illegal alien was allowed to go on his merry way. See anything wrong with this scenario? What type of thinking are the people in charge of policing our porous borders, using for a brain or are they following orders, and if they don’t they can kiss their jobs good bye. No wonder, we are being overrun with people who enter illegally and are greeted with a raft of benefits,not available to American citizens who foot the bill so certain can take credit and reap votes. PS – A note to Marcia, Obama is responsible for the sequester, it was his idea that came back to bite him in the behind. His tricks are not working anymore, because some people have seen through his destructive tactics.

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  4. gentlemanjimComment by gentlemanjim
    March 15, 2013 @ 4:51 am

    Mexico sends these illegals here to help their economy. They send back billions of dollars to their families every year and the gubment gets a vig on the cash sent back plus the money that the relatives spend. They have a vested interest in having as many as possible coming here. I also think it’s more like 20-25 million as opposed to the 11 million they say are in the states.

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  5. spindizzyComment by spindizzy
    March 15, 2013 @ 5:54 am

    Why do they have to use a bus? Just use the same semi-trailer most of them got here in.

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    Rating: 4.7/5 (12 votes cast)
  6. elderalComment by elderal
    March 15, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    No surprise that Obama would (again) act irresponsibly and release criminals as a childish demonstration of his lack of maturity all because he didn’t get his way on the budget. IF he ever grows up, he may realize that not everyone wants him as Dictator-in-Chief (King / Lord / Messiah) of America. While waiting for the unlikely event of his adulthood, we will have to watch these petty tirades; similar to the “terible twos” children often go through.

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  7. RME KRNLComment by RME KRNL
    March 15, 2013 @ 8:33 am

    So, once again, is Napolitano incompetent and just doesn’t know what she’s talking about or is she just a liar? Saying that only several hundred illegal aliens were released but it wasn’t in the thousands and then other sources confirming it was in the thousands means she’s one or the other, or perhaps both.

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      March 15, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

      Maybe she’s an incompetent liar.

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  8. rickinnevComment by rickinnev
    March 15, 2013 @ 8:37 am

    Wow! Excellent work there Morton..no problem man, I got your back on this for takin’ the heat..I’ll call you about it later.

    Barack

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    • bulletfish2013Comment by bulletfish2013
      March 15, 2013 @ 10:17 am

      Right!, why do these people continue to fall on their swords for this guy??? Sure makes me wonder.

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  9. soonerComment by sooner
    March 15, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    I think the headline for this article is all wrong. Whoever the headline writer was at AP should have recognized this administration’s motives and re-written their headline more accurately: “ICE ADMITS RELEASING THOUSANDS OF FUTURE DEMOCRAT VOTERS” If anyone believes that this administration would take action like this for anything other than political reasons is just kidding themselves. I’m sure each immigrant was given voter registration materials as they crossed the red carpet.

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  10. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    March 15, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    Why can’t they initiate Operation Wet Back like Truman and Eisenhower did. Round them all up on buses and take them 500 miles into Mexico and let them out. No they release them into the US, not knowing where they are, what they are doing or caring if they are here or not to do us additional harm other than being parasites. Real leadership in Washington these days.

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  11. joe23006Comment by joe23006
    March 15, 2013 @ 9:18 am

    By reversing itself again this administration once again it admits to lying! The ‘Forward Together’, a favorite slogan of socialists, communists, fascists, liberals, and progressives, power hungry tyrants has revesed themselves so many times that for the last four years and two months the country has been going backward.

    Until someone with courage and authority, I doubt that person will be run of the mill Republican, takes control this will continue. Then lawbreaking at all levels of government, from dog catcher to the highest office, should be prosecuted and punishment meted out. No one person is above the LAW Mr. President, Mr. Attorney General!

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  12. odayterrenceComment by odayterrence
    March 15, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    Just wait until one, or a group of, these Illegal Aliens commit some horrible act upon a Liberal politician. Something highly visible, dramatic, and destructive. Then we’ll see Obama and Company start yelling about the evils of Illegal Aliens. Of course, they’ll also claim that these particular Illegals were in the country since Bush…so the blame belongs to Bush.

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  13. willyrhoComment by willyrho
    March 15, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    All of Obama’s people in his government are Marxists and Liars. The release of Criminal Illegal Aliens is a threat to the safety and security of All Americans. This should be determined to be an impeachable offence. When combined with all of Obama’s Fraudulent Identity Documents, All of which are Felonies: Birth Certificate, Selective Service Registration Card, and his Theft of Harrison J Bounels Social Security Number, it makes a fourth Article of Impeachment. And when Fast and Furious Gun Running in which is in violation of international Law And USA Law, that makes another, 5th, Article of Impeachment. And when the Overthrow by Military Force of Libya’s Friendly Government to give the Libyan Nation to an Enemy of the USA, the Radical Muslims, Ansar Al Sharia who is an ally of the Al Qaeda who is our sworn enemy, that is treason, Article 6. And his attempt to let Ambassador Chris Stevens be Kidnapped by Al Qaeda with the intent to trade Stevens for The Blind Sheik Abdul Rahman is also Treason and is the 7th Article of Impeachment. And running guns to the Al Qaeda in Syria to assist in the overthrow of the Syrian Government to aid our enemy is treason and is the 8th Article of impeachment. Creating Czars which are not reviewed by the Senate for Advice and Consent is also an extension of the Government that is beyond the Constitution and should be unlawful and unconstitutional and should be the 9th Article of Impeachment.

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  14. plova25Comment by plova25
    March 15, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    Hold on a minute, didn’t White House spokesman Jay Carney assure us though that the “illegal detainees” that were released were ones that committed “minor” offenses ? If ICE followed their own directives then these “detainees” aren’t held for such minor infractions. For an illegal to be detained they must meet the following.

    1. Be convicted of a felony.

    2. Be convicted of three or more misdemeanors.

    3. Posed a threat to national security.

    It doesn’t seem like the “detainees” committed such minor offenses afterall.

    A previous post gave a good solution to the budget constraints. Instead of releasing them into the public those that are Mexican nationals should be transported across the border by bus and released there. Nationals from coutries that have to be flown back should be subject to paying the cost of the flight or at least part of it as it would be cheaper for a one way ticket than a month or so in detention.

    If the administration really did not / does not endorse this then Morton should be fired. The House should press for this.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      March 15, 2013 @ 7:20 am

      Not only should they be fired but they should be prosecuted for releasing known criminals from jail without due process. Maybe some civil rights group will file a lawsuit claiming discrimination because there are a lot of citizens who should have been released from prison before turning these criminal aliens back into society without going through the court process.

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  15. mysticComment by mystic
    March 15, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    Well now I am doubly confused. The Sequester tantrum the President & Co. threw led the American public to believe a financial Armageddon was about to befall them. (Chicken Little comes to mind.)Then we had the travesty march of said Obama and Co. close the White House to tours, stopped payment of education to our military personal, and let out thousands of illegal criminal aliens.

    Yesterday, on some talk show, I think George Stephonolpolous, the President clearly said we didn’t have a debt problem. We didn’t need worry about our national debt as it was sustainable for the next ten years. Huh? Whaaaaa? Huh again.

    So which is it? A 2% reduction in proposed spending didn’t go through…Obama over reacts (as per usual) and when the sky doesn’t fall we get the song and dance of ‘the national debt is just fine…nothing to see here folks…everything is fine’ speech. So which is it? A real problem and the sky is falling? or… Everything is fine and sustainable.

    As I said…color me confused.

    ~M

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    • RME KRNLComment by RME KRNL
      March 15, 2013 @ 9:49 am

      No, just color Obama a bald-faced liar and that explains everything.

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  16. gileyComment by giley
    March 15, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

    We know that our immigration laws need some major changes when law breakers are released from prisons and not directly put on a train and sent back home. The American tax payers gets shafted again. The Obama adminitration pushes to take away guns from law abiding, tax paying citizens but cannot remove a criminals from our streets? I bet the Obama administration is jumping for joy because now they are making it look like they had no choice due to sequestration. They must think that all Americans have just fallen off the turnip truck.

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  17. RME KRNLComment by RME KRNL
    March 15, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

    You seem to think the DHS is to make you more secure, whereas I think the DHS is to make the federal government more secure.

    You may be interested in my “What’s Our (Maybe Not So) ‘Friendly” Department of Homeland Security Up To?” at: http://myconservativeprespective.wordpress.com.

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    • RME KRNLComment by RME KRNL
      March 15, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

      Oops, posted in the wrong place.

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  18. peletierComment by peletier
    March 15, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

    Booyah!

    Obama and Napo succesfully made ICE take the fall,and threw them under the bus, for letting free thousands of “undocumented crooks” into the streets of America…

    Was there a Video involved, or not???

    Our Families feel now, much more secure. Thanks ICE!

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    • RME KRNLComment by RME KRNL
      March 15, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

      You seem to think the DHS is to make you more secure, whereas I think the DHS is to make the federal government more secure.

      You may be interested in my “What’s Our (Maybe Not So) ‘Friendly” Department of Homeland Security Up To?” at: http://myconservativeprespective.wordpress.com.

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