Feb 27, 2013 No Comments ›› Jake Hammer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that the Homeland Security Department official in charge of the agency’s immigration enforcement and removal operations has resigned after hundreds of illegal immigrants were released from jails because of government spending cuts.
In an email obtained Wednesday by the AP, Gary Mead told coworkers that he was leaving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the end of April. Mead is the head of enforcement and removal operations at ICE.
Mead had told co-workers of his resignation in the email sent Tuesday, hours after U.S. officials had confirmed that a few hundred illegal immigrants facing deportation had been released from immigration jails due to budget cuts.
President Barack Obama’s spokesman said Wednesday the White House was never consulted but described the immigrants as “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”
THIS IS A BREAKING STORY, PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES An earlier story on the release is posted below.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A week before mandatory budget cuts go into effect across the government, the Department of Homeland Security has started releasing illegal immigrants being held in immigration jails across the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday.
Gillian Christensen, an ICE spokeswoman, said ICE has reviewed “several hundred cases” of immigrants being held in jails around the country and released them in the last week. They have been “placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release,” she said.