Over the last few weeks, the Department of Homeland Security has released over 2,000 undocumented immigrants, who are facing deportation, from its different jails. This in part is due to the budget cuts brought on by the sequester. Another 3,000 will be released sometime during March, according to one news agency.
The new figures just disclosed are from budget documents that had been reviewed by the news agency. The numbers are substantially higher than the figure of only a few hundred undocumented immigrants that the White House administration acknowledged during the week had been given their freedom due to the budget cuts.
The documents showed that nearly 1,000 undocumented immigrants per week had been released from different jails in the U.S. since mid February. The total of 2,000 had been released before great criticism during this week led to the plan being temporarily stopped, according to the same documents. Immigrants were released from jails in Georgia, Texas, California and Arizona.
Officials at the White House said they had not been consulted over the releases and Janet Napolitano the Secretary of Homeland Security acknowledged the release of the immigrants occurred in a manner she now regrets.
White House officials had said during the week that only a few hundred of the more than 30,000 undocumented immigrants in federal detention who were pending deportation had been released.
Officials said those immigrants released had been non-criminal low risk detainees and that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had decided to release them.
A spokesperson for ICE said on Friday that the amount of immigrants held in detention fluctuates daily, but reiterated that only several hundred had been given their freedom. Those released still are facing deportation and must appear in court for their upcoming deportation hearings.