A week before mandatory budget cuts go into effect across the government, the Department of Homeland Security has started releasing illegal immigrants being held in immigration jails across the country, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday.

Gillian Christensen, an ICE spokeswoman, said ICE has reviewed ‘several hundred cases’ of immigrants being held in jails around the country and released them in the last week. They have been ‘placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release,’ she said.

Christensen said the agency’s ‘priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety.’ She did not say how released immigrants were selected or what jails they were released from.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) blasted the move and said he would be looking for more information.

‘This is very hard for me to believe that they can’t find cuts elsewhere in their agency,’ he said in an interview set to air Tuesday night on CBS.

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