AP: Immigration Authorities Release Detainees to Stay Under Budget Cuts

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    AP
    A newly arrived illegal immigrant, caught in Arizona by the U.S. Border Patrol, is initially processed at Tucson Sector U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    The Associated Press has learned that federal immigration authorities have released a number of detainees around the country to save money.

    Gillian Christensen, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington, D.C., said Monday that field offices have been directed to review their numbers of detained immigrants to ensure the jail populations stay within budgeted resources.

    Christensen says an unspecified number of immigrants have been released and placed on more cost-effective forms of supervision.

    She says she did not have further details about those forms of supervision or how many people have been released.

    Christensen says the agency will continue to pursue the cases in court and deport people when necessary.

    Immigration activists say the agency most likely released detainees in California, Texas, Florida, and New Jersey.