Arizona governor on ICE release: 'Outrageous' and 'appalling'
February 28th, 2013
09:22 PM ET
10 years ago

Arizona governor on ICE release: 'Outrageous' and 'appalling'

(CNN) - Two outspoken Arizona voices against illegal immigration blasted federal authorities' recent release of hundreds of undocumented immigrants because of the impending federal spending cuts.

Gov. Jan Brewer and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in separate interviews on CNN's "The Situation Room" that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency did not notify their offices when it moved some detainees out of detention and into less expensive supervised release programs.

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"This is a criminal element that the federal administration has decided to release into the communities," the Republican governor said. "It's wrong and it's outrageous and it's appalling to do something of this magnitude and not contact myself or my homeland security people."

Babeau compared the release to recent federal government scandals where Republicans have blasted the Obama administration for judgment failures, including a botched gun-running sting and an attack last year on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya.

"It's the same storyline we've heard with Operation Fast and Furious, with Benghazi and now when hundreds of criminal illegals are let loose in my community, many of which were not even arrested here, and then we hear these excuses and pointing of fingers," he said. "I'm tired of hearing excuses."

The Benghazi attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans and a gun involved in the Fast and Furious program was found near the site where a U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot.

ICE spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said those released did not have criminal records or were considered low-risk.

"Detainees with serious criminal histories are a detention priority and have not been released," she said in a statement.

The sheriff said it was "laughable" that those released had not committed more serious crimes, adding that they would have little incentive to comply with their conditions of release.

"To think that somehow we could provide supervised release on people who have no incentive to report in to the authorities, no incentive to comply with their release," he said. "They'll cut their ankle bracelet, because what's the worse that can happen? You're going to deport them? I mean that's the reality of this."

The likelihood of these undocumented immigrants committing crimes in the future is "very high," he said.

The Department of Homeland Security has said the decision was made by career officials rather than political appointees and without the knowledge of DHS headquarters.

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Jan Brewer
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. aCriticalEye

    Hardened criminals remain locked up, and only low risk offenders releasesed, sounds like someone is managing their resources. The low risk offenders are most likely individuals that crossed the border illegally, alright that is a crime.

    Has anyone thought of asking Mexico if they would like to join the union? Make them a territory just like Puerto Rico?
    Take the entire border fense down.

    March 1, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  2. Marie MD

    What is it with the repugnants and Benghazi? They just don't know when to give something up do they? See cpac band of crazies!
    Why is anyone listening to this ugly wrinkled up witch? She and babeau think we care about what they have to say. Must be that hot AZ sun that makes people age a little crazy (this finger pointing old woman and senile mcnasty)

    March 1, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  3. DaveC

    Gee Jan, you are a republican. Those pesky spending cuts will get you every single time. Spending cuts are great as long as they don't affect you. It's the NIMBY situation (Not In My Back Yard). Personally, I welcome them. I hope farm subsidies get cut, small business subsidies get cut and the federal flood insurance gets cut. These programs are a darn waste of taxpayers money for people who continually gripe about how unfair the government is but scream every time one penny of their subsidy gets cut. You build a million dollar house on a river why should I pay for your flood insurance. Cut the darn program out.

    March 1, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  4. Guest

    Another in a long line of disgusting indicators that oblabla departments are on auto pilot, reporting to no one before making decisions, endangering Americans and wasting our tax dollars. 3rd world here we come.....

    March 1, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  5. Yeah that's it

    If anyone actually listened to her interview they were quickly reminded of what a babbling fool Arizona has as a governor. Sounded like her staff had trained her to say a few key sentences and ignore all other questions. What a disgrace to women and to the people of Arizona.

    March 1, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  6. chilly g

    i think that was a bad decision, someone should be held accounable

    March 1, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    What is she so mad about? I had thought that 'self deportation' was the official Republican position, as laid out by their party leader at the time, Mitt Romney. Oh, I know what the problem is. There is less money going to the privately run facilities to hold them, which could very well likely that Brewer's broken some campaign assurances she's made to donors.

    March 1, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  8. Chuck Anaheim,Ca

    The right wing is always reminding us the government does not work and we are broke, so mrs skeletor, just pony up the money to keep those illegals in jail.

    March 1, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
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