By Mark Whittington
PostsWebsiteBy Mark Whittington | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Wed, Mar 6, 2013
The sudden and large scale release of illegal aliens from custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has roused the ire of Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas. Perry, whose state has the longest border with Mexico, is making his displeasure known.
Perry issues a statement
In a statement released by his office, Perry referred to the release of illegal aliens as a "federally sponsored jailbreak." Perry also accused the Obama administration of failing to provide information to state governments including "the number of detainees released, their countries of origin, locations where these individuals have been released, and the reasons they were detained." Therefore Perry accuses the Obama administration of putting the people of Texas at risk and of not taking seriously its responsibility of securing the borders. Perry has sent a letter to ICE Director John Morton demanding an explanation.
Perry interviewed by Greta Van Susteren
Perry appeared in an interview with Fox New's Greta Van Susteren in which he repeated his criticism of the Obama administration and of ICE. He suggested that the administration is acting in a high-handed fashion, not coordinating with or even providing information to state and local governments. He openly wondered how illegal aliens could be released summarily without some kind of judicial intervention. He openly expressed doubt that the federal government is motivated by sequestration.
Department of Homeland Security released illegal aliens
The controversy started in late February when the Department of Homeland Security began to release illegal aliens in advance of sequestration, according to the Associated Press. The department claimed that the budget cuts imposed by sequestration compelled it to place an unknown number of illegal aliens into what it termed "supervised release." It denied that this move was made at the behest of the White House and that it was done by ICE professionals. However Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to say how many illegal aliens were released and how they were selected.
House may investigate
With complaints by Perry and other border-state governors rising, the Republican House may conduct an investigation into the release of illegal aliens, according to Hot Air. An internal ICE document suggests that 2,000 illegal aliens have already been released. House Republicans are accusing ICE of lacking any regard for the safety of Americans, echoing Perry's points, that the release may endangered. More importantly the suggestion has been made that ICE has plenty of funding, even in the wake of sequestration, to continue to incarcerate illegal aliens. The House Judiciary Committee will conduct an investigation into the matter in due course.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.