DHS To Release Low Priority Illegal Immigrants Ahead of Sequester –Necessary or Not? [POLL]
Last night’s hot Late Show topic
centered around the cancellation of Air Force Thunderbird flyovers that traditionally take place over marquee sporting events, such as the Daytona 500 due to the coming sequestration, which will necessitate federal budget "cuts" to all branches of government.
(Although as a corollary, some are saying that the cuts are not cuts at all, but curtailing spending increases.)
Also ahead of sequestration (don’t you just love that word?) is the release of low level illegal immigrants from holding centers by the Department of Homeland Security.
One school of thought is that if they’re low priority, then what are they doing in detention in the first place?
The other is that, regardless of what priority they are, fact is they broke the law and must be held in detention.
Releasing them would be tantamount to admitting they did no wrong in illegally entering and staying in this country.
The sequester is officially still three days away, but the Obama administration already is making the first cuts, with officials confirming that the Homeland Security Department has begun to release what it deems low-priority illegal immigrants from detention.
The move is proving controversial. Immigrant-rights groups say it shows the administration was detaining folks it never should have gone after in the first place, while Republicans questioned the decision-making.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that runs the detention facilities, said in a statement that the “current fiscal climate” has forced it to do a review of spending, and part of that is taking a look at who is being detained.
While being released from detention, the illegal immigrants are usually still subject to supervision — either by electronic device or by being required to check in with ICE by phone or in person.
The sequesters are $85 billion in spending cuts this year, followed by equivalent cuts for the rest of this decade. They were set in motion by the 2011 debt deal and will require across-the-board cuts to all government spending save for entitlements such as Social Security.
The cuts take effect on Friday, and all sides on Capitol Hill say they want to avert them — though they cannot agree on how to do so.
The Obama administration, which wants to see the cuts replaced in large part by new tax increases, has warned that the sequesters will hurt national security.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Monday told reporters at the White House that she would be forced to furlough Border Patrol agents, pulling them from their rounds along the U.S.-Mexico border.
She also hinted at the decision to release illegal immigrants, saying she would not be able to maintain the full slate of 34,000 detention beds mandated by Congress.
“How am I supposed to pay for those? There’s only so much I can do,” she said.
United We Dream, an immigrant-rights group, said the releases show the administration has been keeping folks detained who never should have been there.
“Low-priority individuals — people who pose absolutely no risk or danger to society, but rather are upstanding members of their communities and families — should not have been locked up to begin with,” said Carolina Canizales, coordinator of United We Dream’s End Our Pain program.
Republicans said that the Homeland Security budget remains high and that the total amount of cuts is only slightly more than 5 percent of ICE’s budget. One Republican aide who has reviewed the budget numbers said those savings could come from maintenance funds instead of operations.
And by the way, if you thought that holding back the President’s paycheck as well as members of Congress would hurry along the negotiations, guess again, because according to this:
President Barack Obama won’t have to worry about his paycheck if the spending sequestration included in the Budget Control Act that he signed into law in 2011 begins taking effect this Friday.
Article 2, Section 1, Clause 7 of the Constitution says that the president's compensation shall not be increased or decreased during the time for which he is elected.
"The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected," says the Constitution, "and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them."
Wonderful…so then what’s the motivation for seeing another fiscal cliff averted.
Apparently none, at least as far as the President is concerned.
However, the question at hand is: