Did DHS Release Inmates for Budget Reasons?

“The Department of Homeland Security raised eyebrows last week when it released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation from detention, fueling speculation that the Obama administration had timed the move to play up the impact of sequestration,” the Washington Post writes.

“The administration quickly pushed back against the criticism: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said this week that the decision was made independently by the department’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without guidance from the White House. And she denied that all of the releases were due to budget cuts, claiming that the move was routine. ‘We are constantly…moving people in and out of detention,. she said at an event on Wednesday. What’s really going on here? It’s not entirely clear.”

Pay Issue Ties Up Temporary Worker Negotiation

“Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), one of the group of eight senators working on bipartisan legislation, said there are still ‘significant obstacles’ to reaching a deal on temporary workers,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
last July.

“The unions ‘have always been in strong opposition,’ to temporary worker programs, he said, and the results of the presidential election have emboldened them in the negotiations. ‘They feel that they are in a strong position as a result of the last election.'”

Sen. Cornyn Says DHS Moves Show Leadership Problem

“Today (Friday) U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) wrote to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano to express outrage with the recent actions of the Department in response to sequestration. These include releasing detainees from detention centers across the country and issuing furlough notices to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel. Sen. Cornyn demands a list of alternative cost-saving measures that were considered, an explanation as to why DHS is targeting CBP instead of non-security personnel for furlough, and a description of all charges that were being pursued against all released detainees,” said a release from Cornyn’s office.

White House Expects Amnesty Bill in April

“The White House anticipates senators drafting immigration legislation will miss their March target date and unveil the bill in April after a two-week congressional break, officials told faith leaders who met with President Barack Obama yesterday,” Bloomberg News reports.

“‘They told us it will be after recess,’ said Stephan Bauman, the president of World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, who attended the 90- minute session with Obama. Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama, told the group the bill could be ready for a Senate vote in May, or ‘early June at the far-latest,’ he said.”