In the last week of February, several hundred immigrants were given release from detention centers thanks to the immigration conversation being changed by looming budget cuts. American taxpayers have been footing the bill for the detention of over 30,000 people every day, many of whom were in detention for offences of a non-violent nature. The National Immigration Forum says that the government could save as much as $1.6 million per annum if every non-violent criminal detainee was given a different form of supervision instead.
Miguel Hernandez, a 19-year-old undocumented immigrant, was arrested after he was pulled over because he forgot to use his turn signal while he was driving. He ended up being sent to a detention center in rural Georgia because of the incident, only to finally be released after the decision by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to move detainees to a less expensive form of supervision.
The Department of Homeland Security has asked for funding of as much as $2 billion for this year alone to detain immigrants, allowing them to detain as many as 32,800 people across 250 facilities. The National Immigration Forum says that Congress has made its intention clear to use taxpayer money to fund immigration detention that would exceed that request.
CNN says that the White House was not involved in the decision to release the detainees, with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement assuring the public that those offenders with a serious history of violence remain in custody.