Looming sequester forces detainees out of custody

Posted on: 5:40 pm, February 27, 2013, by


As the deadline looms and more budgets cuts are announced, the debate over the sequester heats up.

Thousands of illegal detainees are being let out of custody because it’s less expensive to place them on supervised release rather than hold them.

ICE officials said those being released are non-violent offenders and their crime has to do with immigration.

Some Oklahoma lawmakers said they believe the idea is ridiculous but advocates said it saves tax payers money.

“I feel it’s outrageous because the sequester hasn’t happened yet,” Sen. Kyle Loveless said. “Its not a good idea for the president and the administration to basically say we have these laws on the books and we’ve got these people ready for deportation but we’re just going to ignore it because of budgets and just let them go.”

Some are even concerned about a host of accused criminals being out on the loose.

“Before everyone reacts to the fear-mongering  look closely at the facts,” Ruben Aragon said, director of the Latino Community Development Agency.

“It cost the American taxpayer $164 a day to retain these people,” Aragon said.

He said with supervised release, that cost drops to $14 a day or less.

“They’re getting a pass, let’s pass because of timing and budget cuts,” Attorney David Slane said. “Justice should be blind without regard of the cost but it doesn’t always work that way.”

“The lack of immigration reform has caused many people to be detained and some $2 billion every year goes to holding these individuals,” Slane said.

Officials said charges won’t be dropped for these detainees and they’ll still have to face the courts.

We’re also told only about 4 percent of people on supervised release flee authorities and because of pending immigration reform they said they believe the number will be low.