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GOP senators demand details on release of illegal detainees

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.

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Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyHolder, Yates lead letter backing Biden pick for Civil Rights Division at DOJ Number of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports Grassley, Cornyn push for Senate border hearing 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell seeks to end feud with Trump Senate GOP signal they won't filibuster debate of hate crimes bill Colin Powell on Afghanistan: 'We've done all we can do' MORE (Ky.) and Sens. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeBiden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike Sanders expresses 'serious concerns' with Biden's defense increase MORE (Okla.), David VitterDavid Bruce VitterBiden inaugural committee to refund former senator's donation due to foreign agent status Bottom line Lysol, Charmin keep new consumer brand group lobbyist busy during pandemic MORE (La.), John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanSenate GOP opens door to earmarks Arkansas governor quietly bucking GOP's dive into culture wars Trump allies line up ahead of potentially bruising primaries MORE (Ark.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate GOP faces retirement brain drain Roy Blunt won't run for Senate seat in 2022 Lobbying world MORE (Kan.) and Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsExperts see 'unprecedented' increase in hackers targeting electric grid Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Lack of cyber funds in Biden infrastructure plan raises eyebrows 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.