The Department of Homeland Security plans to release 10,000 illegal aliens from detention centers in response to possible sequestration budget cuts, citing the unaffordability of maintaining the jails, while simultaneously building new detention centers for illegal aliens that cost tens of millions of dollars.
Despite the fact that the budget cuts, which have been decried as apocalyptic by talking heads in the government and the media, will result in a mere 6% drop in non-entitlement government spending, the DHS has, “started releasing illegal immigrants being held in immigration jails across the country,” a week before the budget cuts even go into effect, reports AP.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is warning that “DHS might not be able to afford to keep the 34,000 immigration jail beds mandated by Congress,” with Janet Napolitano cautioning, “I don’t think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester as without sequester.”
However, while complaining that budget cuts will make current detention facilities impossible to maintain, the DHS is simultaneously building multiple new detention centers with no concern for cost.
Indeed, a solicitation for a new detention center planned for Laredo, Texas, to house 600 detainees including medical personnel, recreational facilities, libraries, courtrooms, and at least 65 staff was posted on the FedBizOpps website just yesterday.
Last month, the DHS also posted a solicitation for a new detention center to be built in Georgia capable of housing up to 2000 detainees.
Homeland Security is also spending $1 million dollars on annual rent - up from $300,000 – to move a family detention center to a new building in Leesport, Penn.
Under the auspices of the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also recently built five new detention centers in Florida, Texas, New Jersey, California, and Illinois.
The federal agency is also spending money turning an old Walmart building into a new detention facility in El Centro, California.
If the Department of Homeland Security is so broke that a relatively minor budget cut will make the $164 a day it costs to keep an illegal immigrant facing deportation jailed, while preparing to release one third of the entire illegal immigrant prison population, why on earth is it building new detention centers that cost tens of millions of dollars each to construct and operate?
As TrimTabs’ CEO Charles Biderman outlines, the “sky is falling” mantra coming from government and media mouthpieces in relation to sequestration cuts is absolute bullshit. The state is committed to expanding the size of government at breakneck speed and that is the reason why it has surrounded the whole issue with inflammatory rhetoric about the country shutting down if Obama doesn’t get his way.