McCain, Levin Say ICE Released 32 Felons Ahead Of Budget Cuts

May 16, 2013

PHOENIX — In February, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released more than 2,000 immigrants from detention facilities in anticipation of automatic federal budget cuts.

ICE Director John Morton told Congress in March several people with serious criminal offenses were released, and some were taken back into custody. In a statement to CNN the same month, an ICE spokesperson said 28 people released had been re-arrested, "after either violating the terms of their supervision or after the agency discovered information not available during an initial review of their case."

Now, it appears that information not available may have been that the detainees were felons.

Thursday, Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said ICE released a total of 32 felons, convicted of charges ranging from DUI to making fake IDs to possession of up to 2,000 pounds of marijuana.

ICE told the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations it took 24 felons back into custody and took other action on the remaining eight, such as monitoring them with ankle bracelets.

The two Senators want the ICE officials responsible for releasing felons to face disciplinary action.

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