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Letter to Director of ICE John T. Morton - Release of Detained Immigrants

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Austin, TX

Gov. Rick Perry, in a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton, called on the Obama Administration to provide state and local law enforcement with information regarding the release of criminal aliens into Texas communities. The administration has failed to coordinate with or provide details to states where detainees have been released.

"The release of criminal aliens into our communities by ICE is unconscionable. This action far surpasses the grandstanding Americans have come to associate with sequestration talks by potentially jeopardizing the safety of 26 million Texans - safety the federal government already compromises by falling short on border security," Gov. Perry said. "Aside from allowing this federally sponsored jailbreak to occur, ICE has also failed to provide any information regarding the number of detainees released, their countries of origin, locations where these individuals have been released, and the reasons they were detained - despite repeated requests from my office. The finger pointing at the highest levels of the Obama administration and unwillingness to take responsibility for this massive security threat is unacceptable."

Texas has Fusion Centers and Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers (JOIC) to streamline information sharing between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, which ICE failed to utilize.
Gov. Perry continues to call on the federal government to fulfill its responsibility and secure our nation's southern border. Because of the federal government's failure to do so, Texas has invested hundreds of millions of state dollars to support and supplement border security efforts along our 1,200 mile border.

The full letter reads as follows:

The Honorable John T. Morton
Director
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
500 12th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20536

Dear Director Morton:

The release of criminal aliens into our communities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is unconscionable. This action far surpasses the grandstanding Americans have come to associate with sequestration talks by potentially jeopardizing the safety of 26 million Texans -- safety the federal government already compromises by falling short on border security. The lack of transparency and coordination between your agency and the states and citizens most affected by this decision is appalling. Americans deserve better from our federal government.

Aside from allowing this federally sponsored jailbreak to occur, ICE has also failed to provide any information regarding the number of detainees released, their countries of origin, locations where these individuals have ben released, and the reasons they were detained -- despite repeated requests from my office. It is imperative that this information is disclosed immediately to local and state law enforcement. In Texas, we have Fusion Centers and Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers (JOIC) designed to facilitate and streamline information sharing between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The fact that ICE deliberately chooses not to utilize these centers is troubling and only made worse by Secretary Napolitano placing blame on those agents in the field instead of accepting responsibility.

It is the federal government's responsibility to secure our borders and keep our citizens safe, yet states are left to deal with the ramifications of a porous and insecure border. At the very minimum, law-abiding citizens should not have to look over their shoulders because this administration seems more concerned with putting criminals on the streets than with taking them off.

The finger pointing at the highest levels of the Obama administration and unwillingness to take responsibility for this massive security threat is unacceptable. Texans deserve to know how your agency's decisions will affect their communities, and I request your immediate cooperation in this matter with my office and state and local law enforcement.

Sincerely,

Rick Perry
Governor


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