The PJ Tatler

The AP's Claim that a DHS Official Resigned Over the Illegal Alien Releases Turns Out to Be False

Earlier today the Associated Press reported that a Department of Homeland Security official had resigned in the wake of the Obama administration’s decision to release thousands of illegal aliens awaiting the judicial process. The department cited budget cuts as the reason for the releases, despite the fact that the cuts would hit about one percent of DHS’s budget, and they have not even happened yet.

The AP’s story turns out to have been premature. No one has been fired or resigned in the wake of the release scandal.

The senior Homeland Security Department official in charge of arresting and deporting illegal immigrants announced his retirement the same day the agency said that hundreds of people facing deportation had been released from immigration jails due to looming budget cuts, according to a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. The government said he had told his bosses weeks ago that he planned to retire.

Gary Mead, executive associate director over enforcement and removal operations at Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, disclosed his departure in an email to his staff Tuesday afternoon. The announcement of the release of the illegal immigrants had come earlier in the day.


A spokeswoman for the agency, Gillian Christensen, said there was no connection between Mead’s announcement to his staff and the decision to release the illegal immigrants. She said Mead had told senior leaders in the agency several weeks ago that he planned to retire.

The AP’s headline on its story remains “DHS official resigns after immigrants are freed.” Which, while technically sort of true, is full of lies. One, the “immigrants” are illegal aliens awaiting court. Legal immigrants and illegal aliens are two very different things in the eyes of the law. Two, the official’s retirement, not resignation, is not connected to the jail releases. So it does not belong within miles of a story about those releases. Three, being “freed” implies that they are being held for some nefarious reason; “released” would be more accurate.

Left as is, the headline — which is all that most people will read — exonerates the Obama administration and suggests that after it found wrongdoing, a head rolled. In reality, the Obama administration probably ordered the releases and is now covering them up by blaming ICE. No one has been held accountable. The AP’s headline helps ensure that no one will be held accountable.