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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Coming sequester frees ‘waves’ of undocumented detainees

File under “Things that will make wingnut’s heads explode.”

McClatchy Newspapers:

The federal government released groups of illegal immigrants from custody across the country Monday at the same time the White House was making its case that impending budget cuts would harm efforts to protect the border and enforce federal immigration laws.

Advocates reported “waves” of illegal immigrants being released from at least three detention centers in Texas, Florida and Louisiana.

U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement confirmed the release of some illegal immigrants Monday night but would not say how many or from which detention centers.

“In order to make the best use of our limited detention resources in the current fiscal climate and to manage our detention population under current congressionally mandated levels, ICE has directed field offices to review the detained population to ensure it is in line with available funding,” said ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen. “As a result of this review, a number of detained aliens have been released around the country and placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release.”

Christensen said ICE is continuing to prosecute their cases in immigration court and will seek their removal from the country.

“We’re getting reports from multiple detention centers in Texas, Florida and New Orleans where detainees who are low priority are being released in mass without bond,” said Domenic Powell of National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an immigration advocacy group. So any coming “FOREIGN GANG MEMBERS BEING SET LOOSE ON UNSUSPECTING PUBLIC!!” stories coming from the right — and they will come — are racist bullshit. These are low priority detainees, which likely means their only crime is being employed in the US illegally.

But this is the problem with the right’s focus on spending — they seem to believe that there’s a whole raft of programs and policies they take for granted that come absolutely free. It costs money for the government to do things, people. It doesn’t all run on sweet dreams and birthday wishes. It needs revenue or things like this have to happen. It’s just math.

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