As the result of uncertainty about the agency's budget, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced that it will release hundreds of undocumented immigrants from detention centers across the country. Broad federal budget cuts are expected to begin, under the so-called "sequester," which mandates $85 billion in spending cuts during the rest of fiscal 2013 and $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which faces a $4 billion budget cut. ICE has reviewed several hundred cases and placed these individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention. All of the individuals remain in removal proceedings. The Agency stresses that priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety.