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ICE Releases Detainees Ahead of Possible US Budget Cuts

February 27, 2013 - Voice of America

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) says it has released hundreds of detained immigrants in an effort to save money ahead of potential government budget cuts. Reforming U.S. immigration policy and balancing the budget are two of the most controversial issues facing President Barack Obama, who is under pressure to please both conservative and liberal lawmakers and voters. The two issues collided this week with the ICE decision to review its detainees.

Feds free illegal immigrants in Georgia, other states

February 26, 2013 - Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Several hundred illegal immigrants have been released from detention centers in Georgia and other states, federal officials confirmed Tuesday. They said the releases were made to cut costs in advance of automatic spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect Friday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials declined to say precisely how many detainees they have freed or where they are being released.

Because Of Budget Cuts, U.S. Releases Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrants

February 26, 2013 - National Public Radio

The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) says it released several hundred detainees in an effort to prepare for the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1. More people may be released in the coming days. Last year, the National Immigration Forum estimated that the cost per ICE detainee ranges $122-$164 per day. The organization also estimated that alternative methods of detention cost significantly less, between 30-cents to $14 per day per detainee.

Wave of Immigrants Released Ahead of Automatic Budget Cuts

February 26, 2013 - New York Times

In a highly unusual move, federal immigration officials have released a wave of detainees from immigration detention centers around the country in an effort to save money as automatic budget cuts loom in Washington, officials said. The government has not dropped the deportation cases against the immigrants, however: The detainees have been freed on supervised release while their cases continue in court, officials said.

DHS releasing illegal immigrants before sequester

February 26, 2013 - Associated Press

A week before mandatory budget cuts go into effect across the government, the Department of Homeland Security has started releasing illegal immigrants being held in immigration jails across the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday. 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.

Prospect of cuts prompting US to release some migrant detainees

February 26, 2013 - Arizona Daily Star

Illegal immigrants are being released from detention across the country on their promise to return for future court dates because of possible upcoming federal budget cuts, Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed. While the total number of people who have been released has not made public by ICE, an official with firsthand knowledge of the agency's effort said more than 100 people had been released from the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona alone. The effort started last week.

Business owners emerge as vocal force in pro-immigration debate

February 22, 2013 - Los Angeles Times

Having business owners involved in negotiations might also help quiet some of the opposition that contributed to the derailment of immigration reform in 2007, when anti-immigration callers overwhelmed and shut down the Senate switchboard. "In order to get the votes we need, we have to think about who can move House Republicans — and business is a big part of that," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, which brings together different factions on immigration, including business and labor.

More than half of Congress has never debated immigration reform

February 21, 2013 - The Hill

More than half of Congress has turned over since the last time the House and Senate tried to move legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. The high turnover rate bolsters the argument of Republican leaders, who say Congress must move methodically on immigration. President Obama, meanwhile, has pushed for swift passage of a bill, saying lawmakers have long debated the issue.

Behind-the-scenes deal pushes immigration reform closer to reality

February 21, 2013 - Christian Science Monitor

A compromise agreement announced Thursday between the nation’s largest labor union and the top advocate for American business underscores the enormous momentum now behind immigration reform. The agreement touches on what was seen to be potentially one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the immigration reform debate – namely, how the country should handle the flow of low-skilled, temporary foreign workers.

Conservative evangelical Christians sign on for immigration overhaul pitch

February 20, 2013 - Dallas Morning News

After years of silence and even hostility to modifying immigration laws, conservative evangelical Christians have become unlikely allies in pressing for a path to citizenship for those here illegally because, they say, the Bible told them so. A coalition of religious leaders in Texas and elsewhere, many with strong credentials as social conservatives, is engaging congregations in a coordinated call for Congress and the White House to deal with 11 million illegal immigrants.


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