Mar 01 2013

Politico: Jan Brewer: Immigrant detainee release ‘wrong’

Newswire | Published 1 Mar 2013, 2:43 pm | Comments Off on Politico: Jan Brewer: Immigrant detainee release ‘wrong’ -

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday said it was “wrong” and “appalling” that she was not consulted about a federal decision to release hundreds of immigrant detainees to cut costs ahead of looming sequestration.

“It’s wrong, and it’s outrageous and it is appalling to do something of this magnitude and not contact myself or my homeland security people, is just unbelievable,” Brewer (R-Ariz.), who represents a border state, said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”

Her comments came several days after news reports surfaced indicating that the government has released detainees from detention centers as a cost-saving measure before sequestration — deep, across-the-board spending cuts — kicks in, which they are slated to do Friday if no deal is reached.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, has maintained that the detainees released were low-risk.

“Over the last week, ICE has reviewed several hundred cases and placed these individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said as part of a statement provided to POLITICO. “All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety.”

Brewer pushed back on their assessment, arguing that if the detainees released did not pose a serious criminal threat, they would have already been let go.

“These people have a criminal record, is what I believe,” she said, adding that she would like to know that “for a fact, I can’t say that.”

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