ICE Official Admitted Illegals Didn’t Have To Be Released From Detention

Morton ICE

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton testified before Congress yesterday and admitted that there were alternatives to releasing illegals from detention and they chose to release them anyway.

“We can seek reprogramming requirements, that is absolutely true, Mr. Chairman, and we did not in this instance,” Morton told House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., during a hearing this afternoon. “I did not want to rob Peter to pay Paul. My view is that we need to maintain the operations of the agency, I did not want to furlough people, and my view is that I need to make rational decisions across the [agency accounts].”

“Reprogramming requirements” refers to a request to “reprogram” how an agency spends the money allotted to it by Congress. Morton’s answer not only makes clear that he could have avoided releasing those detainees — 70 percent of which had no criminal record, he emphasized — but also supports the Republican argument that President Obama already has the flexibility to handle the sequester. In fact, Republicans have invited the Obama administration to “reprogram” the sequester. (Read More)

Morton was also questioned by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and admitted that some of the detainees they released were Level 1 aggravated felons and “many” repeat DUI offenders. In short, they could have shifted money around and kept the illegals in jail, but they chose not to. They also had a number of months to make these arrangements, because they knew well ahead of time that the sequester was coming. Via The Blaze, here’s video of that portion of the proceedings. I doubt you saw this on the evening news last night.

H/T PJ Tatler