Arizona governor on ICE release: 'Outrageous' and 'appalling'
February 28th, 2013
09:22 PM ET
9 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. John the Historian

    Your Republican party wanted the cuts so now live with it Governor. Siunce Arizona will be a blue state in the next election you are out of a job anyway.

    February 28, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. keeth

    This is what happens when you want to operate government with no money...and when you have politicians with no brains...on both sides!

    February 28, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    If Jan Brewer is unhappy, she should quit whining in the press and take her complaint to her republican cronies in the house that has manufactured this ordeal.

    February 28, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  4. Name lynn

    Gov Jan you talk to much an you never shut up, dont let your brain over power your words that comes out of mouth. Because the immigration is not your concern, dont lose your gov sit jan because them immigration you might their votes to keep you in the gov sit.

    February 28, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. MaryM

    No one cares what you think Jan.

    February 28, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. Saying it as it is

    Thought she didn't like the federal government! Wasn't she for the cuts in spending?

    February 28, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can understand her frustration. There is an easy way to make these people trackable. GPS bracelets for all; that makes sense to me.

    February 28, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  8. Dr Matrix

    She is one of the many reasons I am happy to no longer be living in Arizona.

    February 28, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  9. Taylor Workman

    Well, generally when Jan Brewer is outraged about something it's somewhat positive.

    February 28, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. California

    This is proof that democrats don't care about the country. They only care about blaming everyone else.

    February 28, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  11. jack johnson

    Just like all the republicans (fight for cuts) then when it affects their state cry cry and then cry and blame Obama's staff. When will they ever learn what goes around comes around?

    February 28, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
    "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."


    Dear Mr. Babeu ,
    Benghazi , Fast and Furious , Solindra and Obama being born in Kenya have nothing to do with it .
    And don't blame the LA cop who shot fellow officers on GW Bush .

    March 1, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  13. Fortinbras

    Want spendings cuts? There ya go.

    March 1, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  14. ralphco

    well they need more voters for Hilary 2016

    March 1, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  15. Name Ron

    This has to stop! Deportation now !

    March 1, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  16. Carol

    Brewer is outrageous and appalling!

    March 1, 2013 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  17. Royal Flush

    Now you can round them up again.

    March 1, 2013 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  18. Getoverit

    "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed Thursday that she had no part in her department's decision to release low-risk illegal immigrant detainees as a way to deal with looming cuts to the department's budget.

    In an interview with ABC News, Napolitano claimed even she was surprised to learn about the release of the prisoners, which drew criticism from many Republican lawmakers.

    "Detainee populations and how that is managed back and forth is really handled by career officials in the field," she said.

    Napolitano also conceded that the decision was poorly timed, saying she wishes people, herself included, weren't caught by surprise by the announcement."
    So, Sniffy, Rudy, and Dominican Mama, let's see how you spin this one. I'm all ears!!

    March 1, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  19. Jorge

    Why is CNN relegating ths story to back pages. Arizona should pick these criminals and deport them to Washington DC, let them eat their cake, maybe camp in the White House' gardens.

    March 1, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  20. John in Brooklyn

    Guess it's just too hot in that Tea Party kettle, eh slash-and-burn-the-government Brewer?

    March 1, 2013 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  21. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The gop pushes the cuts then whines about the consquences of what they the gop caused .the teahage from az should move to somila !!!

    March 1, 2013 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  22. Carl

    Jan Brewer became a national joke.

    March 1, 2013 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  23. Marita

    They are absolutely correct! I lived in NM + left the state last year.Do not be fooled by the beautiful scenery! It is a dangerous place. The 'Wild West' is getting wilder all the time! – @Marita.

    March 1, 2013 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  24. Just a thought

    Ms. Hagtha needs to get back on her broom and head back to witch mountain....what disgusting waste of air.

    March 1, 2013 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  25. CraigM

    Janet Napolitano is totally incompetent and quite frankly this is just a scare tatic by the Federal Government because Obama is not getting his way on the Sequester. Miss Janet needs to resign as she is where the buck stops as to our immigration enforcement and as we all know the Federal government is not the best at that.

    March 1, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
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