The Obama Department of Homeland Security, in a move to put pressure on Republicans to act on sequestration, has started to release hundreds of illegal immigrants that have been held in local jails, as they anticipate "budget cuts." Not only is this action politically motivated, but it's dangerous as well.

As I've told you before sequestration is not about real cuts. DHS will continue to see an escalation in their budget, it just won't be what they were anticipating.

According to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released more than 500 detainees in his county over the weekend. His spokesman said that ICE officials plan to release a total of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants.

ICE officials are claiming that only 303 have been released from four Arizona facilities so far in Pinal County. According to ICE, 2,280 detainees are still in custody in those facilities.

Babeu said the releases were a "mass budget pardon" and he said the Obama administration was using these releases to demonstrate the impact of the so-called sequester.

sequester-2013The sequester has nothing to do with this. It is an attempt to put pressure on Republicans to cave to Obama on the issue and make him appear as the man with all the answers. I continue to state this over and over. There are no real cuts to the budget. All Federal agencies will continue to see an increase every year. But moves like this are irresponsible and dangerous to Americans. It is political theater with grave consequences.

"President Obama would never release 500 criminal illegals to the streets of his hometown, yet he has no problem with releasing them in Arizona. The safety of the public is threatened and the rule of law discarded as a political tactic in this sequester battle," he said.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer blasted Obama over the releases, calling it the "height of absurdity."

“I’m appalled to learn the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has begun to release hundreds of illegal aliens from custody, the first of potentially thousands to soon be freed under the guise of federal budget cuts,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. “This is pure political posturing and the height of absurdity, given that the releases are being granted before the federal sequestration cuts have even gone into effect.”

Immigration and Customs spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said, "“As fiscal uncertainty remains over the continuing resolution and possible sequestration, ICE has reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget. Over the last week, ICE has reviewed several hundred cases and placed these individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention. 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."

ON Monday, DHS Secretary Janet "Big Sis" Napolitano said that the department "would not be able to maintain the 34,000 detention beds as required by Congress" due to the impact of cuts, which again are no real cuts.

"We're doing our very best to minimize the impacts of sequester. But there's only so much I can do," she said. "I'm supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those?"

I suggest that you pay for them the way you paid for them last year, with the money you've been given, plus the increase you get this year. That should cover the costs.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) called the move by ICE "abhorrent" and issued a statement, in which he said, "By releasing criminal immigrants onto the streets, the administration is needlessly endangering American lives."

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) agreed with Goodlatte saying, "these savings could be much more safely and rationally achieved."

“It is clear the Administration is using the [budget cuts known as the sequester] as a convenient excuse to bow to political pressure from the amnesty groups, as it did with its unilateral decision to confer legal status on millions who are not lawfully present,” Sessions said.

Sessions added,

“With this new action, the administration has further demonstrated that it has no commitment to enforcing the law and cannot be trusted to deliver on any future promises of enforcement.”

Sheriff Babeu presented my thoughts when he concluded, "Clearly, serious criminals are being released to the streets of our local communities by this mass budget pardon. These are illegals that even President Obama wants to deport. This is insane that public safety is sacrificed when it should be the budget priority that's safeguarded."

Babeu says, “A lot of these people weren’t even arrested here. They weren’t arrested in my county. A lot of them were arrested in Phoenix or somewhere else, and they’re brought into my county — and now, they are released on the streets and in my neighborhoods.”

Though the illegals are to be on "supervised release," Babeu says, “It is unacceptable for anyone to believe that’s feasible. These are people who have defied and disrespected our law to come into our country — and we’ve had a problem even stopping them from coming into our sovereign country — so how do we think we’re going to be able to supervise release for criminal illegals? They don’t respect the law.”

Obviously, if you need prison space, you would seek to release those who were convicted of misdemeanors, right? Or possibly you would release those who were not involved in violent offenses. However, that is not the plan of the Obama administration. They want to release what amounts to "invaders" of the United States into the population. The administration is lying and they are endangering the people of the United States in doing so.

UPDATE: Ouch! Obama White House tosses DHS under the bus on illegals release. Politico reports:

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security were unaware of Immigration Customs and Enforcement's decision to release detainees until the agency announced it, administration officials said Wednesday.

"This was a decision made by career officials at ICE without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequestration," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

Personnel at Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington were also unaware of the decision until the announcement was made, a department official told POLITICO.

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