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Public Statements

Coats: Napolitano's Failure to Explain Release of Detained Illegal Immigrants is Unacceptable

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, today said that the failure of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano to provide information about the recent release of detained illegal immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is unacceptable.

On March 1, Coats sent a letter to Napolitano asking for more details regarding the release of the detained individuals and why ICE blamed the action on budget cuts when it has been provided adequate resources. Coats requested information by March 8 and to date has received no response from Secretary Napolitano.

"The American people deserve answers and accountability from this department," said Coats. "It is completely unacceptable for the secretary simply to point the finger at "career agency officials' for the release of detained illegal immigrants and then refuse to provide Congress with any details regarding this irresponsible action. As department head, Secretary Napolitano needs to provide information on who made this decision, why officials blamed the action on the sequester's budget cuts when ICE mismanaged its own resources and how this policy will be modified."

Although ICE publicly stated that it does not have plans to release any more detained illegal immigrants, an internal ICE document obtained by the House Judiciary Committee revealed a plan to continue reducing detention center populations each week while the sequestration cuts remain in place.

"With multiple contradicting statements coming from ICE, and denials of the recent press stories, Secretary Napolitano must clarify the administration's plan going forward," concluded Coats.

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