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Feb 26, 2013 6:57 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Feds release immigration detainees

TUCSON - Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday that the agency released 303 immigration detainees since Thursday from its Arizona facilities.

Approximately 2,280 total immigration detainees remain in custody at the Florence Detention Center, Eloy Detention Center, Pinal County Jail, and Central Arizona Detention Center said Amber Cargile, an ICE spokeswoman. She said 52 were released from the Pinal County Adult Detention Center

The decision was made last week Cargile said, "As fiscal uncertainty remains over the continuing resolution and possible sequestration, ICE has reviewed its detained population to ensure detention levels stay within ICE's current budget. Over the last week, ICE has reviewed several hundred cases and placed these individuals on methods of supervision less costly than detention."

Marcos Durazo is an illegal immigrant and said he spent four months in custody at the Eloy facility, "truthfully, I just couldn't believe it. Then and there I believed in God." The 62-year-old said he was released Saturday night. He called his sister Ciria Hayes from the bus station in downtown Tucson after being dropped off by ICE, "well I was asleep he woke me up. The phone rang I just answered it and he said hi this is Marco, I'm here in Tucson. I was really in shock," she recalled.

Durazo said he has been in the U.S. illegally for 20 years and has a criminal history that includes a DUI, drug possession, and disorderly conduct. He said he was deported once before.

In a statement Cargile said, "All of these individuals remain in removal proceedings. Priority for detention remains on serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety."

Durazo said he's scheduled to appear at a Tucson immigration office on March 5.

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