An investigation into the release of more than 2,220 immigration detainees in 2013 that drew outrage from Gov. Jan Brewer and other Arizona officials faults top Immigration and Customs Enforcement executives for poor planning and a lack of communication, says the Arizona Republic. But the investigation by the Office of Inspector General did not find evidence that the release of the detainees, among them more than 600 convicted criminals, was politically motivated, as Brewer and others have charged.
Instead, the inspector general’s 42-page report made public Tuesday supports claims by ICE officials that they decided to release immigration detainees — including the convicted criminals — in late February and early March 2013 for budgetary reasons, as mandatory across-the-board cuts known as the sequester were about to kick in. A total of 2,228 immigration detainees were released, including 342 from detention facilities in Arizona, the highest number in any state. Andrew Wilder, Brewer’s spokesman, called Tuesday’s report “damning,” adding that it “confirms the Obama administration broke the law when it released thousands of illegal aliens, including more than 600 who had criminal records.”