Congressman Trey Gowdy (SC-04), Chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee, released this statement regarding the disclosure that the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) had plans to release illegal immigrants and criminal aliens due to sequestration:
"Considering the government's primary function is public safety, it is very concerning to me that the Department of Homeland Security had plans to reduce spending by releasing thousands of illegal immigrants and criminal aliens. How could this be the most responsible way to reduce agency costs? Did DHS look to other parts of the budget? Who is being released and how was the determination made? The Administration has some explaining to do, and I look forward to getting answers at an upcoming Committee hearing."
The House Judiciary Committee obtained an internal ICE document, revealing that the agency planned to release thousands of illegal immigrants and criminal aliens to reduce the agency's costs. However, the document shows ICE already had around 3,000 fewer illegal immigrants in detention than the 34,000 mandated by Congress, and planned to reduce that number further to 26,000 by March 31, 2013.