The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released hundreds of immigrant detainees from their detention facilities, and Arizona senator John McCain wants some answers.
Thursday, McCain sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking that she provide information ensuring that ICE’s decision will not affect the safety of the American public.
Dear Secretary Napolitano,
In anticipation of automatic budget cuts due to sequestration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly released hundreds of immigrant detainees from ICE detention facilities around the country days before such cuts were to take place. While ICE officials maintain that the detainees released were “noncriminals and other low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories,” local sources have raised the possibility that some of the detainees had committed serious crimes such as weapons offenses, smuggling, narcotics trafficking, forgery, aggravated assault against police officers, and child molestation.
The American people need to know that those recently-released detainees are being tracked to ensure that they will not present a future threat. More importantly, the American public needs to be confident that ICE and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in fact did not release detainees who will be a danger to the public when it decided to meet its sequestration budget cuts through the release of these inmates.
In order to address those issues, I request answers to the following questions:
1. How many detainees were released in preparation for sequestration or after the announcement of sequestration and what criteria were used in determining which detainees to release?
2. Are plans in place to release additional detainees? If so, how many detainees will be released and what criteria will be used to determine which future detainees will be released?
3. How many of the congressionally mandated 34,000 detention beds are currently not being used due to budget sequestration?
4. Does DHS or ICE know the names, criminal records, and location of the criminal aliens that have been released? Has this information been shared with local law enforcement in the jurisdictions these detainees were released?
5. How many of the released criminal aliens are Level 2 Classification detainees, including, but not limited to, those convicted of:
i. Aggravated Assault, Aggravated Battery;
ii. Aggravated Child Abuse;
iii. Arson, Battery Law Enforcement Officer;
iv. Burglary (Armed), Extortion;
v. False Imprisonment;
vi. Importation or Trafficking of Controlled Substances;
vii. Manufacture of Explosives;
viii. Armed Robbery; or
ix. Sexual Battery.
6. Are illegal aliens that have been apprehended by Border Patrol being rejected at ICE detention facilities due to budget constraints stemming from sequestration?
7. What plans are in place to ensure illegal aliens are being detained and we do not return to the days of Border Patrol “catch and release?”
8. How did ICE evaluate the severity of past crimes in determining which criminal aliens would be released?
9. Who within the ICE chain of command has the authority to decide to release a particular criminal alien and what is the written policy limiting the officer’s discretion?
Please provide a response in writing explaining ICE’s actions and answering the questions raised above by no later than March 18, 2013. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
United States Senator
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever