Here are the basics about the detainee release – from the terminology that immigration officials use to a glimpse into the kinds of people who have been released.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said last week it was releasing a "few hundred" detainees to save money ahead of the automatic spending cuts in the “sequester.” A few days later, the Associated Press reported that the move involved closer to 2,000 detainees, who were set free from Atlanta to Livingston, Texas.
As criticism about the move – was it a sequester-related scare tactic by the White House? – rose from politicians like House Speaker John Boehner, ICE contended that it did not coordinate with the White House. The released detainees, it said, were "noncriminals and other low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories."
But this week, Gov. Rick Perry (R) of Texas has been among those suggesting a more sinister development – that many of the released detainees are "criminal aliens," whose release onto the streets represents a massive and "unconscionable ... federally sponsored jailbreak."
Page 1 of 6