Hundreds of immigration detainees deemed low risk have been released – part of a national game of chicken over the 'sequester.’ But the move could have consequences for immigration reform.
Citing impending budget cuts, immigration officials have announced the release of hundreds of detainees considered low-level threats to public safety. This move by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has quickly turned into one of the most baffling chapters in the public-relations chess match going on between House Republicans and the Obama White House over the looming “sequester.”
The release of detainees may score some short-term points for President Obama, who has been sending dire warnings about the impact of the cuts, including with a speech Tuesday at a Virginia shipyard. But the GOP could also strike a chord with Americans by highlighting security concerns and other issues posed by the release.
And such concerns could bring into play even more than the fight over federal spending, deficits, and the debt. Namely, the release of detainees could also affect the debate over comprehensive immigration reform.
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