ICE: Release of federal prisoners due to sequestration

SAN DIEGO – Hundreds of detained immigrants were being released from the Otay Detention Center Tuesday as the deadline for federal budget cuts approaches.

u.s.-border-patrol—use-thAs the possible sequestration remained uncertain Tuesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they reviewed their budget.

ICE released the following statement Tuesday:

“ICE has reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE’s current budget.  Over the last week, ICE has reviewed several hundred cases and placed these individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention. All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said if Congress can’t compromise before the sequestration deadline, billions will be cut from border enforcement.

Napolitano fears the progress of border security over the last decade could be reversed.