By JENNIFER EPSTEIN
2/27/13 1:10 PM EST
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security were unaware of Immigration Customs and Enforcement’s decision to release detainees until the agency announced it, administration officials said Wednesday.
“This was a decision made by a career officials at ICE without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequestration,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.
Personnel at Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington were also unaware of the decision until the announcement was made, a department official told POLITICO.
ICE announced Tuesday that it has released several hundred undocumented immigrants in recent weeks as funding cuts loom. The detainees will instead be monitored in less expensive ways, the agency said.
Carney described those released as “low-risk, non-criminal detainees,” but several Republican members of Congress have spoken out against the releases.