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Immigration Detainees Freed to Save Money, ICE Says

PHOENIX - APRIL 28:  An undocumented Mexican immigrant waits to be deported from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), center on April 28, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Across Arizona, city police and county sheriffs' departments turn over detained immigrants to ICE, which deports them to their home countries, most to Mexico. Last year the federal agency deported some 81,000 illegal immigrants from the state of Arizona alone, and with the passage of the state's new tough immigration enforcement law, the number of deportations could rise significantly.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX - APRIL 28: An undocumented Mexican immigrant waits to be deported from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), center on April 28, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Across Arizona, city police and county sheriffs' departments turn over detained immigrants to ICE, which deports them to their home countries, most to Mexico. Last year the federal agency deported some 81,000 illegal immigrants from the state of Arizona alone, and with the passage of the state's new tough immigration enforcement law, the number of deportations could rise significantly. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

Federal immigration authorities have released a number of detainees around the country to save money.

Gillian Christensen, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington D.C., said Monday that field offices have been directed to review their numbers of detained immigrants to ensure the jail populations stay within budgeted resources.

Christensen says an unspecified number of immigrants have been released and placed on more cost effective forms of supervision.

She says she did not have further details about those forms of supervision or how many people have been released.

Christensen says the agency will continue to pursue the cases in court and deport people when necessary.

Immigration activists say the agency most likely released detainees in California, Texas, Florida, and New Jersey.

Reporting by the Associated Press.

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