GOPUSA By The Arizona Daily Star February 28, 2013 6:55 am
About 300 people have been released from immigration detention centers in Arizona since Thursday, when the federal government started to review each case in anticipation of widespread budget cuts.
"As fiscal uncertainty remains over the continuing resolution and possible sequestration, ICE has reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE's current budget," said agency spokeswoman Amber Cargile.
All of them remain in deportation proceedings, she said. About 2,280 people remain in immigration detention in Arizona.
The move took many by surprise, and not everyone was happy to hear about it.
Gov. Jan Brewer said in a news release she was "appalled." "This is pure political posturing and the height of absurdity given that the releases are being granted before the federal 'sequestration' cuts have even gone into effect," she said.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake called it a "deeply misguided move by DHS."
"With more than $1 trillion in budget deficits, there are many opportunities to rein in federal spending. Releasing hundreds of detainers who have violated the law is most certainly not one of them," he said in a written statement.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said there was "a mass release" in his county. "ICE agents were paid overtime Saturday and Sunday to release over 500 detainees in Pinal County alone," he said in a news release.