Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton has admitted that the Obama administration has released thousands of illegal immigrants from local jails, despite earlier claims that only “several hundred” had been released.
Morton told a House Appropriations subcommittee on Thursday that 2,228 illegal immigrants had been let out of local jails between Feb. 9 and March 1 for “solely budgetary reasons” resulting from the sequester, Fox News reported
He said the detainees included some held on theft charges, financial criminals, and drunk drivers — “in some cases, multiple DUIs,” he acknowledged.
Morton also told the subcommittee that 10 persons labeled “Level I” offenders, the most serious classification, were released, but four have since been taken back into custody. He insisted that “there are no mass releases of dangerous criminals underway or any plan for the future.”
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano took issue with an earlier report that thousands of detainees had been released, saying on March 4: “Several hundred are related to sequester, but it wasn’t thousands.”
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