Conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said on Wednesday that the Obama administration’s release of hundreds of illegal aliens from local jails to save money before huge budget cuts take effect was “an impeachable offense.”
“This is in direct violation of the oath of office,” Limbaugh said on his radio show. “Defend and protect the Constitution of the United States and the people.
“We’re opening the doors of prisons before the sequester has even happened, before there have even been any budget cuts,” Limbaugh added. “This is so childish, except the consequences are real for people that live near these detention centers. This is in-the-ground, hard, cold reality.”
Arizona officials on Tuesday lashed out at the White House after the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they had released hundreds of illegals after the agency reviewed their cases.
The illegals were placed on supervised release, an agency spokeswoman said on Tuesday, which requires them to abide by a strict reporting schedule that may include attending appointments at regional ICE offices and telephone and electronic monitoring.
Gillian M. Christensen, the agency spokeswoman, could not specify how many detainees had been released or when the releases began – though a source told Newsmax that slightly more than 300 illegals had been released across the country since last Thursday, and all were classified as low-security threats.
About 50 immigrants were released from facilities in Pinal County, Ariz., about 70 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, the source told Newsmax.
The agency’s move there was attacked as a serious public-safety threat by Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
“These are criminal illegals,” Babeu told Newsmax. “They were headed for deportation – but now, they have received a budget pardon.”
The immigration agency falls under Homeland Security, headed by Secretary Janet Napolitano. About $85 billion in broad government cuts are scheduled to take effect on Friday. Approximately 5.3 percent of the ICE budget would be cut.
“The president of the United States has opened up the jails,” Limbaugh declared on Wednesday. “Hundreds of illegal alien criminals have been released from illegal alien jails.
“Now, I know Obama thinks that he’s harming Republicans,” he added. “This is exacting harm on the country – and it’s entirely unnecessary. None of these so-called budget cuts are necessary. None of this panic is necessary.”
Limbaugh sympathized with Arizona officials, who long have fought the White House on immigration matters. “Apparently, Obama never gets tired of sticking it to Arizona,” he said.
“The purely cynical view is that Obama has just let loose 30,000 new Democrat voters,” Limbaugh said later in the program. “So this is how far Obama’s willing to go to try to punish this country and anybody who stands in the way of him doing and getting what he wants.”
The talk-show host also lambasted the White House for saying earlier on Wednesday that Obama and Homeland Security were not involved in the decision to release the illegals.
Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said at a news conference reported by the Associated Press, “This was a decision made by career officials at ICE without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequestration.”
Homeland Security officials also were not aware of the decision until ICE announced it, Carney said.
“He’s not even in charge of his own Department of Homeland Security,” Limbaugh said of Obama. “He’s not even in charge of his own Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. All of this stuff happens; he doesn’t know anything about it.”
He then reminded listeners: “Obama didn’t know about Benghazi, either,” referring to the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
“He didn’t know about the prisoner release. He didn’t know about Benghazi. I wonder if Napolitano did that.
“A bunch of career bureaucrats did it – and what Carney tried to say was that there’s so much panic in the bureaucracies over the upcoming spending cuts, these massive spending cuts, that they’re practically panicking – and they’re doing things that nobody is aware of until they do them.
“The lengths to which they are now going to try to convince people that Barack Obama has literally no association with this government whatsoever is stunning,” Limbaugh said.