Press Release


Administration Should Not Blame Sequester for Bad Detainee Policy

Media Contacts: Mike Rosen, Charlotte Sellmyer (202) 226-8417

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) released the following statement regarding reports that the Administration is releasing detainees due to sequestration.

Chairman McCaul: “The unprecedented step by DHS to release detainees awaiting deportation proceedings en masse from immigration detention centers shows that the Administration does not plan on negotiating with Congress to avoid the sequester. It is instead using it as an excuse to achieve its desired goal of shifting money away from detentions and returning to a de facto catch-and-release policy. Last year the Administration sought to decrease the amount of detention space by $53 million and Congress denied its request in the interest of the safety of the American people.  

“Releasing several hundred individuals could save money, but will still amount to a small percentage of what DHS must cut if we go into sequestration. While cutting spending is crucial, letting potentially dangerous detainees out of federal custody is not a responsible option. Last year ICE spent $648 million on headquarters, management and administration. A reduction in its bloated administrative budget, which includes worldwide conferences costing millions of dollars, would cover the cost of keeping these detainees in federal custody.

“This mass release of individuals currently in U.S. custody clearly demonstrates the Administration's irresponsible approach to not only fiscal policy, but national security.”