The Department of Homeland Security is releasing some illegal immigrants being held in immigration jails in advance of automatic budget cuts set to go into effect later this week.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Gillian Christensen, says the immigrants were being held around the country and being released and "placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release." She did not say how many immigrants were released or how they were selected.
Congress requires that ICE maintain 34,000 immigration detention beds. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Monday that the mandatory cuts would impact the entire department, and specifically mentioned the cost of maintaining jail beds.
Christensen said the deportation cases against the released immigrants would continue.