U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) today issued the following statement after the Director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), John Morton, testified before a House subcommittee confirming that ICE released 2,228 illegal immigrants in February for "budgetary reasons," including 10 individuals who are the highest level of offenders:
"I have a lot of questions. Why did DHS release more than 2,000 illegal immigrants, including 10 who qualify as the highest level of offenders? Why was the Secretary of Homeland Security not aware of the release of convicted criminals by her own agency? Why did she tell us it was only hundreds who were released when we now learn it was thousands?
"This is evidence of serious mismanagement at DHS under Secretary Napolitano. The American people deserve to know why their Homeland Security Department is making America less secure."
Sen. Cornyn wrote to Secretary Napolitano last week to express outrage with the recent actions of the Department in response to sequestration, including releasing detainees from detention centers across the country and issuing furlough notices to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel. Sen. Cornyn demanded a list of alternative cost-saving measures that were considered, an explanation as to why DHS is targeting CBP instead of non-security personnel for furlough, and a description of all charges that were being pursued against all released detainees. He has yet to receive a response from the Secretary.