During a Politico Playbook breakfast in Washington D.C. this morning, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano bitterly denounced the news media last week for revealing that the agency released over 2,000 illegal immigrants ahead of the sequester cuts.
“There was a story that ran last week that said ‘we released 2,000 detainees because of sequester’ Napolitano said, mocking the hype inferred by the headline.
“That is really not accurate,” she insisted.
“That was not a Politico story by the way,” Allen responded.
“It was not a Politico story, I will hasten to say, and I won’t say who put it out there,” Napolitano added. “But as in all things immigration it develops its own mythology.”
The Associated Press reported on Friday that the DHS released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation in recent weeks “due to looming budget cuts” and planned to release 3,000 more during March.
Napolitano defended the actions blaming “career officials” who decided to put “very low level low risk detainees” could be put in a “supervised release program.”
When Allen questioned Napolitano about the timeline of the program, she admitted that the actions were related to the sequester cut deadlines, complaining about the “perfect storm” of budgetary problems.
“Several hundred were related to sequester but it wasn’t thousands,” Napolitano said sharply, although she admitted that the program would continue in the “foreseeable future.”