Illegal Immigrant Released From Detention Center

Illegal Immigrant Released From Detention Center

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Ready or not, we are just hours away from forced budget cuts being imposed on the federal government and the U.S. economy.

While they have nothing to do with a jury, they are called the sequester and some agencies are already feeling the effect. Ahead of those cuts, some detention centers have decided to open their doors including the one in Odessa, among those being released--illegal immigrants.

NewsWest 9 spoke with a man who is grateful to have his freedom once again.

"No questions asked I was going to be doing probably 90 days up to six months in jail. I was like 'oh well I am already in there what can I do,'" the illegal immigrant who wanted to remain anonymous, said.

After he had served his time, the 23-year-old man was supposed to have been deported back to Mexico but that never happened.

He says three months ago he was out with some relatives when he was pulled over by officers and charged with DWI. He was then told he would be behind bars up to six months. However, after only serving three months, he was set free.

"How do feel about it? I feel relieved, I know right now I am not gonna go back to Mexico," he said.

Kathryn Midkiff, Immigration Assistant with Borland and Borland says, this is not an isolated case. She says other illegal immigrants who have committed minor offenses may soon be released from U.S. Detention Centers and she shared what that could mean for them.

"What it means for people who are in detention is they're being released, the ones who have no criminal record or a very minor criminal record. It's good for them, they are still in removal proceedings," Midkiff said.

According to Midkiff, the bottom line as to why they are being released comes down to money.

"Since it costs money to hold the deportation hearings, you're looking at two or three or four hearings with the judges and ICE officers, it costs money to have the deportation hearings," Midkiff said.

The man NewsWest 9 spoke with says it would have been really hard for him had he been sent back to Mexico.

"If they would've deported me back to Mexico, it was going to be a lot different because I am not familiar with over there, I don't know nothing, I don't know," the man, said.

Midkiff says those illegal immigrants who have been released from a detention center still have to remain in the United States pending their court hearing.