ICE chief: White House didn't push release of illegals
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 6:12 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The release of illegal immigrants from detention because of budget concerns was undertaken with care to ensure that security was not compromised, the head of the immigration enforcement agency said on Tuesday.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton, at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, defended his agency's decision last month to release 2,228 illegal immigrants from detention centers because of budget constraints. They were placed on alternative supervision such as being required to call in regularly or wear an electronic monitor.
Republicans charged that the release was part of scare tactics used by President Obama's administration over mandatory budget cuts, and they pressed Morton on whether his agency had received any pressure.
Morton repeatedly denied that his agency had spoken with officials from the White House and the Department of Homeland Security about the decision to release the illegal immigrants before it happened.
“From this vantage point, it does look like the decision to release detainees was a political determination and not a monetary determination,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican.
Mandatory budget cuts government-wide, known as sequestration, began on March 1, and the government has been operating on a continuing resolution that funds agencies until March 27.
The cuts require a nearly $300 million reduction in the agency's budget over the seven remaining months of the fiscal year, Morton said during the hearing.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Holy grail of guitars’ for sale in April auction
- Spyware in government computers ‘has Russian paw prints all over it’
- Deputy accused of illegal stops
- El Nino could bring relief to U.S.
- Former National Security Agency contractor Snowden’s leaks to cost billions, take years to fix
- Kansas public school funding unconstitutional
- California man named as bitcoin creator denies involvement
- Border Patrol ordered to stop shooting at vehicles
- Miranda read to sex assault accuser, 14
- Nuke plant safety improving, watchdog says — with cautions
- Accuser takes stand during court-martial