Napolitano changes tune on illegal alien releases

By Columnist Jim Kouri
Saturday, 09 March 2013 11:27

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appears to be changing her story when she claimed on Monday that the release of 2,000 illegal aliens released from detention facilities is a normal process and has nothing to do with sequestration or the budget.

What started out as an allegation by Judicial Watch, a public-interest NGO (non-governmental organization), has now been confirmed: thousands of illegal aliens awaiting deportation were released from federal detention centers in recent weeks. However, President Barack Obama’s White House staff denied any involvement in the policy when reporters questioned officials throughout the weekend.
But on Friday, Napolitano, whose agency oversaw the move, claimed the decision to release illegal immigrants was made in the field and without her knowledge.

“We are constantly ... moving people in and out of detention,” she said, according to Fox News Channel.

The possible release of illegal aliens as a result of the sequestration budget cuts was announced earlier this week, but a report by the Law Enforcement Examiner alleged that the release policy had already gone into effect. Citing federal documents, the Homeland Security Department claims more than 2,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation have been released from immigration detention centers and another 3,000 people will be released by the end of March.

“The newly disclosed figures are significantly higher than what the Obama administration acknowledged this week as a few hundred who were released without the White House’s direct knowledge. And on Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose agency oversaw the move, said the decision to release illegal immigrants was made in the field, and without her knowledge,” according to a Fox News report on Friday.

A number of illegal aliens were surreptitiously freed from federal immigration detention facilities in Texas, Florida and Louisiana, Judicial Watch reported Tuesday, pointing to a newspaper story that quotes advocates reporting illegals being released.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials confirmed the low-key release program, but refused to say how many illegal aliens were released.

Judicial Watch quotes an illegal alien who had been locked up for a violation. Manuel Perez, issued a statement after being released from a detention facility in Texas this week: “Lots of us are getting out who were brought in for driving without a license or other small things,” Perez wrote. “I hope more of us are able to get out soon.”

This latest de facto “get out of jail free card” is part of the president’s campaign to convince the nation that impeding budget cuts will harm national security, specifically border protection and the enforcement of federal immigration laws, according to Judicial Watch’s blog.

“Ironically, releasing incarcerated illegal immigrants into the general population can certainly threaten the security of the communities where they are freed,” states the JW blog.

However, according to economist Jorge Estaban-Cruz, an associate professor at SCI Technical College, “The President is being deceptive on all fronts. The so-called sequestration is a two-percent cut of any additional money added to the budget. In other words, instead of increasing spending by 20 percent, we’ll only increase spending by 18 percent. It’s a – for want of a better term – an enormous scam perpetrated on the fools who support him,”

Here is the statement from ICE that appears in the story:

“In order to make the best use of our limited detention resources in the current fiscal climate and to manage our detention population under current congressionally mandated levels, ICE has directed field offices to review the detained population to ensure it is in line with available funding. As a result of this review, a number of detained aliens have been released around the country and placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release.”

Only a few months ago the administration used a natural disaster – a hurricane – as an excuse to assist illegal aliens who have flouted U.S. law. The president actually created a special storm amnesty to justify waiving immigration laws, including for violators of the student visa program like the 9/11 hijackers who murdered thousands of Americans.

The unprecedented move came last November after Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast. In an notice posted by the Homeland Security agency handling the initiative, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Obama administration said it “understands that a natural disaster can affect an individual’s ability to maintain a lawful immigration status.”

Among the “benefits or relief” offered under the plan is “expedited adjudication of off-campus employment authorization applications for F-1 students experiencing economic hardship.” This would apply to foreign students like the al-Qaeda terrorists who trained as pilots in U.S. flight schools and purposely slammed commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001. All entered and lived in the U.S. with student visas and remained in the country even after they expired. One of the hijackers had enrolled—but never attended—a northern California language school, according to Judicial Watch.

Napolitano changes tune on illegal alien releases