U.S. Congressman Scott Perry (PA-04) sharply criticized the Obama Administration following an announcement Tuesday that it is releasing hundreds of immigration detainees, saying they could no longer be housed due to the impending sequester. In addition to raising security concerns and undermining the rule of law, the announcement, reported in the Washington Post, could impact the number of immigration detainees at York County Prison, potentially reducing county revenues by more than $500,000 a month.
According to the Washington Post, federal authorities have said that the released detainees will continue to face immigration charges, will continue to be monitored, and that violent offenders would not be let go. This is the latest in a series of announcements, released in conjunction with several campaign-style rallies President Obama has held in recent days, attempting to raise public fears regarding the sequester.
The accuracy of those claims have been called into question by a February 25 article in Politico, which summarized that President Obama's state-by-state breakdown of the sequester gives a false impression of what will happen on March 1. A closer examination of the detailed reports shows that some of the most controversial things will happen in slow motion -- if they happen at all. The state-by-state reports are full of hypothetical numbers about funding cuts for schools, defense, public health, law enforcement and social services.
Congressman Perry criticized the administration's blatant politicization of this issue, especially given the fact that Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, testified before the United States Senate on February 12 and admitted that the Obama Administration has not provided a specific proposal to replace the sequester.
"The U.S. House of Representatives has voted twice to replace President Obama's sequester with common-sense spending reforms that don't threaten national security or the economy and would keep detainees in prison. President Obama has been busy giving speeches blasting Republicans, while neither he nor the Democrats who run the Senate have offered a specific plan to replace the sequester," said Congressman Perry.
"Just two months ago, President Obama signed a $650 billion tax increase into law but continues to insist that taxes must go up again to avert the sequester. Instead of following the House's lead by getting government spending under control and thereby saving and strengthening Social Security and Medicare, while protecting young people and children from a tidal wave of debt, the President blatantly plays politics with our economy and the rule of law.
I'm willing to work with anyone to help end America's trillion-dollar deficits, but all sides need to stop giving speeches and put forward credible proposals to help the economy and address the crushing debt burden we're mounting for ourselves and for future generations."