Federal immigration officials today released some detainees from Immigrant detention centers due to pending budget cuts, reports the Huffington Post.
The Immigration and Custom Enforcement and Department of Homeland Security are bracing for across the board spending cuts on March 1 due to sequestration.
No word on how many detainees were released, but all were considered low risk inmates.
“All I can say is, look, we’re doing our very best to minimize the impacts of sequester,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters at the White House. “But there’s only so much I can do. I’m supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those?”
Ironically, immigration activists have criticized the Obama administration for detaining too many low risk immigrants and have urged that they be released.
Unless Congress can reach a budget deal or another delay is approved by March 1st, the across the board cuts will automatically take place.