In February 2013, in a misguided effort to comply with anticipated budget cuts due to sequestration, without explanation or warning, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials released from custody 2,226 detainees into communities across the country. In response to requests for information by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has finally disclosed details about those releases. DHS disclosed that, as part of the larger release, it freed 622 detainees with criminal records - for example, pot smokers and shoplifters -- including 32 with multiple felony convictions.
Among the 32 detainees, for example, ICEâ€™s Phoenix District Office released a detainee who had a felony second degree robbery prior conviction and countless convictions for prostitution and solicitation for lewd conduct. The Phoenix office releases also included an individual who had been convicted of second degree trespassing. The San Francisco Field Office released someone with a prior felony conviction to manufacture fake identifications as well as a man with two stalking convictions, the last one as recent as 2007. The Houston office deemed a person convicted of felony possession of marijuana acceptable for release.
Any right-thinking American would have to ask, "If sequestration demands cuts, why not cut security forces in the middle east, or maybe reduce the president's job to one of part-time status?" More to the point, Marco Rubio (R-Fl) stated "It's better to reduce US staff in places like Benghazi than have innocent citizens in this country forced to view lewd and lascivious acts by released immigrants."