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Sheriff Paul Babeu wants info on released immigrants

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FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) - Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says he wants answers from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the release of hundreds of illegal immigrants from custody.

Babeu released copies of a letter he sent Thursday to Napolitano, who's a former Arizona governor.

He's requesting "detailed information about the identity, criminal history and threat assessment on every single criminal" released so far.

Babeu claims he's been denied that information so far from DHS officials in Arizona.

Federal officials say the immigrants facing deportation were released from immigration jails due to looming budget cuts. They also were categorized as "low-risk, non-criminal detainees."


 

Letter from Paul Babeu to Janet Napolitano

Secretary Janet Napolitano Department of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. 20528 Re: Release of Illegal Immigrants Dear Secretary Janet Napolitano, I'm writing to formally request information about the hundreds of criminal illegals who were released from custody and set free in Pinal County this week. I am requesting detailed information about the identity, criminal history, and threat assessment on every single criminal that your agency released under your recent budget pardon. I have already requested this information from your staff here in Arizona, however it has been denied. You can't have it both ways! Your office now says these are low risk and non-violent criminals, yet Director John Morton, yourself, and President Obama have consistently argued that ICE lacks the funds to house all criminal illegals and you only focus your limited financial resources to identify, imprison, and deport the worst 34,000 of the estimated 11 million illegals here in the United States. This is the same group that we are talking about here and the same criminal illegals that even you and President Obama has said you wanted to deport. Protocol and logic should have required your staff to formally notify me, as the top law enforcement official in the county where this occurred, about this mass release of hundreds of foreign criminals into my county and elsewhere, yet regrettably this never happened. Even as the constitutionally elected Sheriff, I do not have any authority to release inmates or detainees in my jail without judicial action. The silence from ICE in failing to answer if any judge was involved with this release or the change of the terms of their detention is what we in law enforcement call a clue. Supervised release for any foreign criminal is laughable. What incentive do criminal illegals have to report in to the authorities or for them not to cut off their ankle bracelet? What is the worst punishment would they face - deportation? Recidivism rates are extremely high for any incarcerated individual, yet this population will be higher. Those who were released had no prior notice of being set free, which is important for each of them, as well as your staff to assist in preparing for transition into the community and to ensure some safety net. They lack the money, family support, and ability to get a job - not just because they have a criminal record, but because they're NOT U.S. citizens. This mass release is a recipe for disaster. Future victims of likely crimes will hold you and your administration responsible.
In an effort to mitigate the threat to the public's safety, I again formally request the names, location provided for their supervised release, criminal charges for detention and their criminal history. Your immediate attention and response is requested. Respectfully,
Paul Babeu, Sheriff
Pinal County, Arizona

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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