Senate Republicans introduced an amendment on Thursday that would require Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to turn over more details about the hundreds of illegal immigrants it released from detention centers last month.
Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyComey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee GOP to kill language exempting staff from new ObamaCare repeal bill House cyber chairman wants to bolster workforce MORE, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the amendment to the Senate’s continuing resolution bill moving through the upper chamber, garnering the support of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again MORE (Ky.) and Sens. James InhofeJames InhofeTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations Optimism rising for infrastructure deal Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate MORE (Okla.), David VitterDavid VitterFormer senator who crafted chemicals law to lobby for chemicals industry Former GOP rep joins K Street lobbying firm Capitol Counsel Lobbying World MORE (La.), John BoozmanJohn BoozmanMedicare’s coverage decisions need more input from physicians GOP lawmakers call on FCC chair to soften data services proposal Senate Republicans eyeing alternative tax reform plan MORE (Ark.), Pat RobertsPat RobertsTrump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Overnight Energy: Trump to sign orders on offshore drilling, national monuments Watchdog: EPA spending on water pollution campaign was legal MORE (Kan.) and Dan CoatsDan CoatsSouth Korea missile defense online in ‘coming days’ Sanders on skipping WH Korea briefing: 'I did not want to be part of a photo op' Overnight Defense: Senators go to White House for North Korea briefing | Admiral takes 'hit' for aircraft carrier mixup | Lawmakers urged to beef up US missile defense MORE (Ind.).
“When ICE recently released thousands of illegal immigrants from detention facilities, it was pretty clear that the administration didn’t have control of the situation and didn’t consider the ramifications to public safety,” Grassley (Iowa) said in a statement.
“The administration has a constitutional duty to faithfully uphold the laws, and when they don’t, the American people deserve an explanation.”
Ahead of the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that set in earlier this month, ICE officials released as many as 2,000 illegal immigrants from detention centers, primarily in the Southwest, and placed them on a supervised monitoring program. The program, Alternative to Detention, began under the George W. Bush administration as a less expensive option to housing illegal immigrants in the midst of deportation proceedings.
The White House has said career ICE officials made the recent move in an attempt to balance their budgets with the impending funding cuts fast approaching. The administration says that only low-risk illegal immigrants were released onto the program.
According to Grassley’s office, the GOP amendment would require ICE to give lawmakers more details about the number of illegal immigrants, the nature of their original crimes, their immigration status and the terms of their release. The measure would also force ICE to submit a budget report to the Appropriations and Judiciary committees about how the agency plans to maintain the congressionally mandated 34,000 detention beds.