A 68-year-old Bolivian national with multiple misdemeanors for drug possession and theft was the one "Level 1" offender released in Arizona under a recent move by immigration officials, ICE said Tuesday.
He was granted U.S. permanent residency in 1963 and lived legally in the country for 45 years, but was deported in February 2008 due to convictions including five misdemeanors for drug possession, theft and possession of stolen property, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In December 2009, the man tried to apply for re-admission through the Nogales port of entry and was turned over to ICE. An immigration judge determined he was not a flight risk and granted him bond.
He is being supervised by ICE through an electronic monitoring bracelet and has an immigration case pending, ICE said.
More than 2,200 people were released from detention in a three-week period starting Feb. 9 due to budget cuts, ICE Director John Morton confirmed last week.
Out of those, 342 were detained in Arizona and 60 percent were classified as noncriminals.
But another 122 were classified as Level 1, 2 or 3 offenders, which includes multiple drunk-driving or shoplifting offenses and simple misdemeanors.
ICE came under criticism after news reports broke that it was releasing large numbers of people from detention.
Lawmakers from across the country, including Arizona, sent letters to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano demanding explanations, and the agency has slowly provided more details on what it called a "unique" operation to stay within budget.
Under sequestration, ICE was forced to cut $300 million from its budget.
Contact reporter Perla Trevizo at email@example.com or at 573-4213.