Citing the looming fiscal cuts, federal immigration officials have released hundreds of detainees from immigration detention centers around the country, reported multiple news sources.
The timing has struck both critics and supporters as unusual because the sequester won't begin until March 1, reported the Washington Post.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which promotes more restricted immigration, said for conservatives "it's a scare tactic -- 'Look, we're going to release illegal aliens, they're coming for your family!" At the same time, it's a concession to pro-immigration advocates "that are objecting to the very idea of deporting aliens," reported the Washington Post.
Under supervised release, defendants in immigration cases have to follow a strict monitoring schedule that might include attending appointments at their regional immigration office as well as electronic monitoring, reported The New York Times.
Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security secretary, said at a White House briefing Monday "I'm supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those?," reported The New York Times.