Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) on Monday slammed the Democratic proposal to cap the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds, saying that it will "release dangerous criminals on to the streets of the United States."
Democrats on the conference committee, who have been negotiating the budget, are trying to push for ICE to cap the number of detention beds.
"A cap on ICE detention beds will force the Trump administration to prioritize deportation for criminals and people who pose real security threats, not law-abiding immigrants who are contributing to our country," said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D., Calif.)
Cheney expressed her concerns with the Democratic proposal on the House floor and said they are threatening a government shutdown to achieve this goal.
"I rise today because every American should know that we are now at the point where the Democrats are demanding that ICE release dangerous criminals on to the streets of the United States," Cheney said. "First, they demanded that we not build a wall. Their leader said that would be immoral. They are demanding we release dangerous criminals we have already apprehended and, Mr. Speaker, they are threatening to shut the government down—they are so committed to this position."
"Most Americans know their government's most sacred obligation is the defense of the nation," Cheney continued. "The Democrats want to abolish one of the very agencies tasked with this responsibility. This is a backdoor effort to do so. Under this latest proposal, ICE has said they could be required to release as many as 15,000 criminals onto our streets."
Matt Albence, the deputy director of ICE, voiced his concerns earlier in the day about the cap on the number of beds in immigration detention centers. Albence said the Democratic proposal would be "extremely damaging to public safety."
"If we are forced to live with a cap, we will be forced to release criminal aliens in our custody." Albence said. "We will be limited in our ability to respond to state and local law enforcement agencies making arrests for these crimes."
"The far left radical positions of today's Democrats are threatening the security of our nation," Cheney concluded. "It’s time to build the wall and secure our borders, support out law enforcement, and keep dangerous criminals off our streets."