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Watchdog: Officials didn't OK immigrant releases

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A new oversight report says the Obama administration wrongly denied for weeks in 2013 that it had released more than 2,000 immigrants from jails. The reason? It says lower-ranking government officials failed to notify the Homeland Security secretary they were letting them go due to budget concerns.

The 41-page report from the Homeland Security Department's inspector general also says officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement failed to plan for the rise of immigrant arrests and didn't track spending.

The Associated Press reported in March 2013 that the administration had released more than 2,000 immigrants. The White House and Homeland Security Department for weeks disputed AP's reporting until a senior official acknowledged to Congress that it had actually released 2,228 people from immigration jails during the period for budget reasons.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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