Gov. Jan Brewer concerned about impacts of sequester - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Gov. Jan Brewer concerned about impacts of sequester

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PHOENIX -

The effects of the sequester are being felt in Arizona. Over the weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement released hundreds of illegal immigrants who were being held in detention centers.

We talked to Governor Brewer Tuesday about the release of those immigrants and the effect the sequester could have on our state.

"We are all very very concerned, I know that the cuts are real and they're going to have a real impact, however I feel we need to address the spending problem we have in DC," said Brewer via phone from Washington DC.

She's been in the nation's capital since Thursday meeting with President Obama and members of Arizona's congressional delegation.

According to Governor Brewer, the state stands to lose $140 million if the sequester goes through, but the impact could be much broader.

Arizona's aerospace and defense industry may be forced to shed jobs.

"Arizona is the 5th in the pipeline for jobs created through the military and of course we're the home of Raytheon and other contractors," said Brewer.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is already releasing detainees from immigration centers around the country including right here in Arizona.

ICE says the detainees are being supervised and that it was a priority to keep criminal offenders in custody.

"It's somewhat shocking, this is probably another scare tactic if you will," Brewer said. "They can't afford to keep them and so we're going to release them now and put them into the community and it's everybody's fault but theirs."

Brewer said she also spoke with Arizona Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain about immigration reform -- and urged them to make sure securing the border is the top priority.


 

Statement by Governor Jan Brewer

I'm appalled to learn the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has begun to release hundreds of illegal aliens from custody, the first of potentially thousands to soon be freed under the guise of federal budget cuts. This is pure political posturing and the height of absurdity given that the releases are being granted before the federal 'sequestration' cuts have even gone into effect.

This represents a return to exactly the kind of catch-and-release procedures that have long made a mockery of our country's immigration system. The news is especially concerning when coupled with DHS' acknowledgment today that it may not be able to maintain operation of 34,000 immigration jail beds, as mandated by Congress.

Everyone knows the federal government must get a handle on spending, and it is well past time that the President begin working with Congress to find real budget solutions. But we cannot let public safety and the rule of law be collateral damage of the President's failed leadership to pass a budget.

Statement by Senator Jeff Flake

With more than $1 trillion in budget deficits, there are many opportunities to rein in federal spending. Releasing hundreds of detainees who have violated the law is most certainly not one of them. This was a deeply misguided move by DHS.

Statement by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu

Clearly, serious criminals are being released to the streets of our local communities by this mass budget pardon. These are illegals that even President Obama wants to deport. This is insane that public safety is sacrificed when it should be the budget priority that's safeguarded.

ICE agents were paid overtime Saturday and Sunday to release over 500 detainees in Pinal County alone. These criminal illegals were scheduled for deportation, yet now they receive a pardon and once again become the problem of local law enforcement and a burden to the state of Arizona. The President predicts a doomsday scenario and his plans are already being implemented. President Obama would never release 500 criminal illegals to the streets of his home town, yet he has no problem with releasing them in Arizona. The safety of the public is threatened and the rule of law discarded as a political tactic in this Sequester Battle.

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