Gowdy presses ICE Director Morton on aggravated felons released
In a terse exchange with ICE Director John Morton on Tuesday, South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy accused the department head of endangering the safety of Americans with the recent release of over 2,200 illegal immigrant detainees, including aggravated felons.
The exchange, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing entitled “The Release of Criminal Detainees by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Policy or Politics,” got heated as Gowdy assailed the administration’s response to sequestration.
“It does look like the decision to release the detainees was a political determination and not a monetary determination,” Gowdy said. “It appears to me that the release of the detainees was part of a sequester campaign that included the fictional firing of teachers, the closing of the White House for student tours, the displacement of meat inspectors and now we are going to release aggravated felons—some aggravated felons onto the street.”
Morton asserted throughout the hearing, as others in the administration have, that career officials at the department made the decision to release the illegal immigrants.
“Now I have counted six times you have said you didn’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul,” Gowdy continued, referencing the manner in which Morton explained the department’s funding decisions.
“I don’t want Peter or Paul to rob one of our fellow citizens because you guessed wrong on who to release,” he added.
Gowdy, chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, asked for the number of level one offenders released. ...