Skip to comments.Sequester Frees Immigrants From Tacoma (WA) Detention Center
Posted on 02/27/2013 1:36:41 PM PST by Uncle Miltie
Sequestration has apparently led to a get out of jail free card for some detainees at an immigration lockup in Tacoma.
With budget cuts looming, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that its shifting some detainees around the country to supervised release. It appears that includes some detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, which is the areas main holding facility for immigrants facing deportation.
Immigration officials in Seattle declined to comment about how people there have been released in recent days. But an attorney who works with detainees at the NWDC says shes heard an estimate.
Some of the guards just kind of ball-parked that maybe 50 people or so were being released but we dont know how accurate that is, said Betsy Tao, an attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Tacoma. She's also talked with other attorneys whose clients were surprised they got to leave detention. This is definitely an unusual thing, Tao said.
Tao and her colleagues spent Tuesday at NWDC talking with detainees who also reported people are getting released. They asked her why they arent the ones selected but Tao said the criteria is unclear.
Immigrant advocates around the country started reporting similar releases this weekend. Hundreds of low-risk detainees were reportedly let go from some detention centers.
Immigration officials confirmed some of the information Tuesday. Over the last week, ICE has reviewed several hundred cases and placed these individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention, said Andrew Muñoz, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Seattle.
The released immigrants will still need to routinely check in with federal authorities and they will still face deportation proceedings.
Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety, Muñoz said.
According to the National Immigration Forum, it costs the government about $164 a day to keep an illegal immigrant facing deportation jailed. In a report on immigration detention costs last year, the advocacy group said costs for supervised release can range from about 30 cents to $14 a day.
The releases are one of the first visible signs of how impending budget cuts will affect the Department of Homeland Security.
Tao calls the releases welcome news since people have much greater access to legal resources once theyre no longer behind bars.
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I bolded impending.
Cuts have not happened.
May not happen.
And if they do, they account for about 3 cents per 100 dollars of the Federal Budget.
This is nothing more than civic black mail and the President alone is responsible.
It's about time we got to the mattresses (to use a mob term)
Obama is only getting started. This was just as poke in the eye of the American People.
I didn’t catch the whole story but it sounds like the unions are going to get involved at airports and shut down runways.
These aren’t just immigrants. The way I understand it is....they are real criminals. And I don’t mean just for being here illegally. Obama is extending his index finger, as usual, at law-abiding Americans. I think it’s time, or past time, that we returned the sentiment.