RUSH: Yesterday we had the shocking news that the regime had released hardened criminals from the illegal immigrant population. They were in jail. Hardened criminals were jailed from the illegal alien population. The doors were opened to the jails, and they were just released, all because of the sequester. The sequester hadn't even happened. It hasn't happened yet. New York Times story: "White House Says it Wasn't Involved in the Detainee Release."
Some lone actor over at the Immigration Customs Enforcement Department was acting on his own, probably trying to score points. The story they're telling is that there has been so much fear about the sequester, and it permeated all levels of government and everybody panicked. "Oh, no, spending cuts!" So you had somebody over at ICE -- who was a good employee, very loyal -- just getting a head start on everybody. He was trying to impress Obama and trying to do his job and get a bunch of kudos.
So he jumped the gun and he opened the doors to the jail and released a bunch of people early, and the White House didn't know this happened. Janet Napolitano, Big Sis, she didn't know it happened. Jay Carney said White House press briefing, "We didn't know it happened!" Nobody knew that it happened. We have an up-to-date on this, the Washington Free Beacon: "The Department of Homeland Security’s immigration enforcement division was ordered last week..."
It was not some random guy acting on his own, not some free agent lone wolf, but rather orders were issued from Homeland Security "last week to reduce their illegal immigrant detainee populations to 26% below the legally required level, according to a research organization that monitors immigration issues. That reduction is significantly greater than those required by the impending budget cuts" in the sequester.
"According to Jessica Vaughan, policy director for the Center for Immigration Studies, ICE was recently ordered to reduce its detainee populations even further. 'Last week, ICE field offices all over the country were ordered to reduce the number of detainees from 34,000 to 25,000 by March 1,' Vaughan said in a post on the group's website." They were ordered to do this last week, not yesterday, last week.
That would indicate this was strictly a political ploy to ratchet up hysteria about the sequester cuts. But who gave this illegal order? And it is illegal. Who gave it and why? "ICE has refused to say how many detainees would be released and did not respond to requests to confirm Vaughan’s statistics. ... Janet Napolitano said the sequester cuts would eliminate funds needed to pay for the detention program.
"However, the reported 26% reduction in detainee populations reportedly ordered by ICE is significantly greater than the 8.2% reduction in ICE's budget required by the sequester." So if the sequester happened within the ICE budget, it would require 8.2% of the prisoners to be released. But last week, somebody got orders to release 26% of the detainees. Folks, I'm gonna tell you something: This is serious stuff.
In the first place, none of it was necessary, even for the budget reason.
We went through the numbers yesterday: It was not necessary to release one detainee. They have, in the illegal alien detention system, 34,000 beds, meaning room for 34,000 detainees. The number of detainees that we have at present is 31,000. There was room for 3,000 more. There was no reason to close the place or to let people go or to release people. Not only did they release people, they released practically three times the number they were supposed to.
ICE was given an order last week to reduce the number of detainees from 34,000 to 25,000 by March 1st. But they didn't have 34,000. They had 31,000. So this is strictly a political ploy. Now, the Washington Free Beacon is pointing out here that a 26% reduction in detainee populations reportedly ordered by ICE was much greater than what the sequester required. So the question remains: Who gave this order, and why did they give this order, and why isn't the news media trying to track all this down?
The Washington Free Beacon quotes the executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "The detainee releases are a 'culmination of a multi-year effort to release illegal immigrants rather than detain them,'" the director said, and some of these people genuinely are hardened criminals. So in an effort to scare everybody... By the way, as I said yesterday: Once you release these people, how do you get 'em back?
They're not wearing GPS identifiers or electronic tracking devices, ankle bracelets. How do you get 'em back? You put some PSAs on TV and say, "By the way, if you were released from an illegal alien detention center last week, it's time to report back"? So they're out there. I don't know how you get 'em back. You have 30,000 potential new Democrat voters. Well, yes, I know that's a cynical view, but I'm telling you: This whole thing is very, very suspicious.
Now, see, yesterday, a lone figure at ICE raised his hand and said, "I did it! I did it!" and then he announced that he was retiring (not resigning, retiring) in a month or two. So they found a fall guy yesterday. But the fall guy doesn't explain it all because there were far more detainees let go than were even required, and all of this happened before the sequester.
RUSH: Peggy in Oro Valley, Arizona. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Hey, long-time listener and third-time caller, Rush.
RUSH: Well, thank you very much.
CALLER: I heard an interview with Paul Babeu, the sheriff from Pinal County where the releases were of the undocumented -- well, the illegal -- immigrants, and he said they were given no notice. ICE just showed up. He was in touch with some of the other sheriffs in Arizona and none of them had any ICE people show up and take any, but apparently there were about 300 that were released over the weekend, and there's no documentation of who was taken or where they are. They're just a whole gamut of villains.
RUSH: Of course! They'll never be back, and this was decided last week before the sequester. Obama's flooding the zone, folks. Five or six thousand, maybe 8,000 illegals have been released from jail, from detention.
RUSH: The Pinal County sheriff, Sheriff Babeu, said that the ICE people did not keep track. They don't know where these released prisoners went, which sorta puts the lie to the ICE spokesperson claim that the released detainees are carefully supervised. Nobody knows where they're going. They're just gone, folks.