300 Illegal Immigrants Freed from Jail

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, left, gestures asIshe speaks to a reporter before the start of a Health and Homeland Security Committee meeting on “Protecting Our Nation: States and Cybersecurity” during the National Governors Association 2013 Winter Meeting in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. Standing at the back right, is Governor of Puerto Rico Alejandro García Padilla. Washington's protracted budget stalemate could seriously undermine the economy and stall gains made since the recession, exasperated governors said Saturday as they try to gauge the fallout from impending federal spending cuts. And both Democrat and Republican CEOs expressed pessimism that both sides could find a way to avoid the massive, automatic spending cuts set to begin March 1.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer on Feb. 23. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

    Around 300 illegal immigrants were released from detention centers in Arizona this week as a cost-cutting measure ahead of the sequester, immigration authorities said Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the release was in preparation for the $85 billion in spending cuts that are set to go into effect Friday—and insisted that the only people released had been determined to be a low public-safety risk. The White House insisted Wednesday that it did not order the release, which has already been criticized by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Sen. John McCain, as well as other powerful Republicans, once again setting off a touchy debate in Washington over illegal immigration.

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