DHS Official Retires After Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrants Freed

WASHINGTON (February 27, 2013)—Gary Mead, the Homeland Security Department official in charge of the agency's immigration enforcement and removal operations, announced his retirement after hundreds of illegal immigrants were released from jails because of government spending cuts, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

In an e-mail AP obtained Wednesday, Mead told co-workers he was leaving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the end of April.

Mead told co-workers of his retirement in the e-mail sent Tuesday, hours after U.S. officials had confirmed that a few hundred illegal immigrants facing deportation had been released from immigration jails due to budget cuts.

President Barack Obama's spokesman said Wednesday the White House wasn't consulted, but described the immigrants as "low-risk, non-criminal detainees."

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