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ICE may release nearly half of all detained illegal aliens because of budget issues: 'Give us more money or else'
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

ICE may release nearly half of all detained illegal aliens because of budget issues: 'Give us more money or else'

Facing an enormous budget shortfall, ICE officials are considering releasing nearly half of all the illegal immigrants in the agency's custody, several agents told the Washington Post.

The Post spoke to four associates with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity. These associates shared an internal memo that suggests reducing the number of detainee beds from 38,000 to just 22,000 to help offset a budget shortfall of $700 million, the largest in "recent memory," the Washington Examiner reported.

While some of those removed from custody would be deported back to their countries of origin, most would be released into the United States, the four officials stated.

The leak of this internal memo to the Post comes on the heels of a now-defunct Senate bill that would have given another $60 billion to Ukraine and $14 billion to Israel, as Blaze News previously reported, but just $7 billion for ICE to shore up the southern border. While small in comparison to the funds allocated to foreign countries, the $7 billion for ICE would nearly double its annual budget of $8.5 billion.

Spokesperson Erin Heeter claimed that the Department of Homeland Security is "chronically underfunded" and that the death of the "bipartisan national security bill" in the Senate "will put at risk DHS’ current removal operations" and "significantly harm border security, national security, and public safety."

Many on the right argue instead that the threat of releasing thousands of illegal aliens into the country is either retaliation for the impeachment of Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas or a means of goading Republicans into voting for Democrat-favored funding packages — or both.

"Instead of treating enforcement as a hostage negotiation — ‘give us more money or else’ — Secretary Mayorkas should just do his job and follow the law," House Homeland Security Committee chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) said in a statement.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted, "In response to Mayorkas impeachment, Biden regime payback includes threat to release even more illegal aliens."

Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, added, "We find it problematic that the framing is that ICE is facing cuts, when in fact, ICE’s budget has continued to grow astronomically year after year."

Nearly 9 million illegal immigrants have crossed the southern border since President Joe Biden took office three years ago. Multiple outlets, including the New York Post and Boston Globe, noted that most detainees held in ICE custody have not committed crimes inside the United States and are instead "recent arrivals taken into custody along the Mexico border." They did not, however, note that crossing the border outside the proper ports of entry is itself a crime.

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News. She has a Ph.D. in Shakespearean drama, but now enjoys writing about religion, sports, and local criminal investigations. She loves God, her husband, and all things Michigan State.
@cortneyweil →