U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and others in introducing an amendment to require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report to Congress regarding the recent release of illegal immigrants from detention facilities prior to the sequester taking effect and whether this action posed a threat to public safety.
"Releasing illegal immigrants in preparation for cuts in spending is a political stunt," Senator Roberts said. "The funding and personnel were available at the time to continue to house these detainees and this decision to ignore the rule of law, under the guise of pending spending cuts, is disturbing."
In February, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released hundreds of illegal immigrants from detention centers and intends to release more before March 31. ICE said the decision to release the immigrant detainees was in preparation for the cuts caused by sequestration.
The amendment to the Continuing Resolution requires DHS to report to the Appropriations and Judiciary Committees about their plan to maintain the 34,000 beds housing detainees. It also requires ICE to provide information on the aliens released, the conviction or charge for which they were detained, their status, whether they had an existing order of deportation, and the terms of release.