Backlash grows over release of detained immigrants

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The Obama administration’s decision to release some immigrants awaiting deportation back into the community has spawned a furious backlash from Congress, where stunned lawmakers have besieged the Homeland Security Department with questions.

Department officials have described the move as a cost-savings measure required by the budget sequesters, but two years ago one top official testified to Congress that detaining immigrants is usually cheaper than releasing them.

As the questions build, so does pressure on Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano, who has not yet answered the requests, signed by dozens of Senate and House members, to detail who exactly has been released, why they were being held in the first place, and who gave final approval.

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