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Obama orders release of 'upstanding' criminals ahead of sequestration

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

President Obama has ordered the release of illegal immigrants held in deportation proceedings by immigration officials (ICE). The Obama administration say the move is to save money ahead of sequestration, an automatic blend of spending cuts to begin on Friday. Opponents say he is releasing criminal offenders onto the streets in an effort to intimidate lawmakers.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - By definition, illegal immigrants are already criminals. Most are given no heed by authorities who acknowledge such immigration as a reality. Still, there are those who enter the country illegally then commit crimes. These offenders are typically deported to their country of origin following incarceration in American jails and prisons.

It is these offenders, awaiting deportation, that the Obama administration is releasing. The releases will save money normally spent to house and feed the inmates. However, once back on the street, these offenders may commit new offenses or disappear altogether.

The Obama administration says that deportation proceedings are continuing against these offenders and that they are being moved to different forms of monitoring such as call-ins, in-person visits, and curfews.

They also claim those being released are "low priority individuals, people who pose no risk or danger to society, but rather are upstanding members of their communities."

This raises the question of why they were incarcerated to begin with, and if their illegal status has any bearing on their classification as "upstanding."

Opponents of the release are decrying Obama for releasing hundrteds of people onto the streets in states such as Arizona. The charge is that it serves as a form of political speech and intimidation which is designed to compel Republicans to bow to pressure from the Obama administration to stop the sequestration.

The sequestration is the term used to identify the $85 billion in spending cuts which begin on Friday.

Detaining an illegal immigrant costs between $122 and $164 per day according to immigration officials. It is unclear how much of a dent in the expected $85 billion these releases will make, but the savings should be in the hundreds of dollars, assuming no further crimes are committed.

John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters, "It's hard for me to believe they can't find cuts anywhere else in their agency. I frankly think this is outrageous.letting criminals go free."

But haven't you heard Mr. Speaker? These criminals are "upstanding!"

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