ICE leaders appears deceptive on sequester

Michael Volpe:
The claim made by the Obama administration that sequester was the reason for releasing thousands of suspected illegal aliens onto America’s streets starting mid-February 2013 has come under further scrutiny due to new revelations. Recently it has come to light that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency overseeing the release, didn’t follow proper protocols for managing their budgets after the prisoner population increased for a period during the months of October, November, and December of 2012.

Speaking in front of the House Judiciary Committee on March 19, 2013, ICE Director John Morton told the committee that in the months of October, November, and December of 2012, the detainee population in ICE facilities ballooned to between 35,000 and 37,000. ICE was only appropriated to hold an average of 34,000 detainees. Morton claimed that this increase in the population was the main reason, along with the sequester, that thousands of detainees were released starting on February 15, 2013.

According to staff on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, if this was the problem, none of the proper committees were notified at the proper time, nor were any other proper protocols followed.

Sara Threadgill is the press secretary for U.S. Rep John Carter (R-TX). Carter is chairman of the Homeland Security Sub-Committee of the House Appropriations Committee. As such, Carter is the point person for all funding issues for ICE, which is a part of DHS. She said that the Obama administration never claimed prisoner populations were a problem when they are now claiming this was the case. Threadgill said:
The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations does receive reports regarding the number of detention beds ICE is using. They are aware that operations vary based on time of year and other factors but the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations was not made aware of what was happening until the illegal criminals were released.
Front Page Magazine also contacted a number of staffers on the Democrat-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee, but heard nothing back as of publication.

Threadgill also pointed out that the administration had other alternatives besides releasing detainees.

...

This comes as the administration’s narrative continues to be challenged on numerous fronts. For instance, while the administration claims that it was the sequester that cut these detainees, it can’t explain why they had to release almost ten thousand of the 34,000 they normally hold, when the sequester is at worst a 5% cut, or the equivalent of 1,700 detainees.

...
There is much more.

Morton should be replaced.  He is either not competent for this job, or is too weak to resist the push of those in the administration trying to scuttle the immigration program.  Congress needs to contionue to hold his feet to the fire while he still has the job.

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