Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, today spoke on the Senate floor about the recent release of detained illegal immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Coats sent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano a letter on Friday asking for more information regarding the release of the detained individuals and why ICE blamed the action on budget cuts when it has been provided adequate resources.
"Releasing detained illegal immigrants and blaming it on the sequester's imminent budget cuts when it appears ICE has mismanaged its resources is unacceptable," said Coats in his floor speech. "This unnecessary action has the potential to put communities at risk. It is irresponsible government."
Coats also criticized the president and Senate Democrats for blocking legislation that would have provided flexibility to the administration to reduce spending in a more responsible way rather than across-the-board sequestration cuts.
"On this floor, just last Thursday, Republicans put forward a proposal to allow agencies to do just that after weeks and months of moaning and groaning by this administration and by its various agency heads about how this sequestration has made the situation much worse," said Coats. "We need to be able to have the flexibility to move the money from less efficient or unnecessary programs to fund the essential functions of government."