AZ gov wants info on released undocumented immigrants
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Source: KPHO-TV)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she's "disappointed but not surprised" to hear that more than 2,200 undocumented immigrants were released from federal custody nationwide last month.
The Obama administration had insisted only a "few hundred" immigrants were released for budgetary reasons in February with reported plans to release more than 3,000 others this month.
Intense criticism led to a temporary shutdown of the plan. Four of the most serious offenders have been put back in detention.
Brewer said Thursday that she's repeating her request for the Obama administration to release "critical information pertaining to the release of these individuals."
She says the state's Department of Public Safety and its Department of Homeland Security want the number of undocumented immigrants released from federal custody into Arizona and all their criminal profiles.
Here is her full statement:
"I'm disappointed but not surprised by today's congressional testimony in which ICE Director John Morton acknowledged the Obama Administration released 2,228 illegal aliens from federal custody last month.
"Among those released, according to Director Morton, were at least 10 individuals classified among the highest-risk offenders. Others released included repeat drunken-driving offenders who, in addition to being in our country illegally, have exhibited behavior that places at-risk every Arizonan innocently sharing our roadways.
"Today's ICE testimony directly contradicts repeated assurances and explanations peddled by the Obama administration in the days after the mass release of illegal aliens became public knowledge. The American people were initially told there were hundreds, not thousands, of individuals released. We were assured they were low-level detainees of little public risk. As we now know, neither of these claims was accurate.
"I repeat my request for the Obama administration to finally come clean with critical information pertaining to the release of these individuals. On March 1, 2013, my directors of the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Arizona Department of Homeland Security wrote ICE Director Morton in seeking: the number of illegal aliens released from federal custody into Arizona; their criminal profile; the manner of their ongoing supervision; and any information regarding further planned releases, among other information.
"As of today, the State of Arizona has received no response. This has gone on long enough. It shouldn't require a congressional subpoena to extract basic information from the Obama administration regarding actions that directly impact public safety."
Earlier, Rep. Matt Salmon released this statement:
"It is important we find answers as to why the Department of Homeland Security took these steps, even before sequestration officially started. This letter calls into question these dangerous tactics and demands an explanation. While cost savings are necessary, it is imperative that the Secretary use her authority to ensure the cuts are thoughtful and do not endanger the public."
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.
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