Even though the majority of US Senators voted to end sequestration and stop automatic budget cuts on Thursday, February 28, there were enough Repulbican Senators to filibuster this action and trigger the accross-the-board cuts that no one said they wanted.
One unintended consequence of allowing sequestration to go forward is the nationwide release of hundreds of immigration prisoners from federal prison.
ICE claims it is releasing prisoners around the country-- including Arizona-- in order to live within its budget constraints. According to the New York Times, before the budget-cutting sequestration release, ICE had a $2.05 billion incarceration budget and was holding 30,773 immigration prisoners. By releasing them (but not dismissing their cases), ICE reduced its per-prisoner cost from $122-164/day to hold them in a federal prison to $0.30-$14/day to allow them to live at home with their families while their cases are processed. (Why weren't we doing this already? Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. The Corrections Corporation of America and the American Legislative Exchange Council want to make big bucks on immigratants.)
Check out the full story in the New York Times: Mass Release of Immigrants Is Tied to Impending Cut.
Whatever comes from sequestration, I lay the consequences at the feet of those two dysfunctional Senate twins-- Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. Reid because he didn't have the balls to change the filibuster rules a fee weeks ago when he had the chance-- even though the majority of Senators and US citizens wanted him to. (Didn't he see this fight on the horizon?) And McConnell because yet again, he put ideology and ego before the good of the people. Don't be foooled, these bastards knew what level of havoc they would wreak on the American populace with this non-step.