Judge Jeanine Pirro is fired up over the release of thousands of criminal illegal immigrants. She takes on the Obama administration in her no-holds-barred commentary on Fox News Channel. Read her opening statement below and tune in for more on ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’ tonight at 9p ET.

I have spent my career investigating, prosecuting and sentencing those who chose to be criminals. My goal was the protection of those who never chose to be victims in the first place. It was a noble cause.

Likewise, the first order of government is to protect its citizens.

In the last two weeks, the Obama administration has opened its jails to release more than 2,000 criminal illegal aliens.

Criminal illegal aliens.

Let me be clear all of us are immigrants to this great country. Everyone deserves an opportunity -- including those children born here, irrespective of their parents' actions.

What is unbelievable is how reckless this administration has been in the release of dangerous criminals onto our streets giving them a "hope you come back so we can deport you" card.

The administration’s response?

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “This was a decision made by career officials at ICE, without any input from the White House, as a result of fiscal uncertainty over the continuing resolution, as well as possible sequester. As ICE made clear yesterday, the agency released these low-risk, non-criminal detainees under a less expensive form of monitoring.”

That less expensive form of monitoring? Open the prison doors and let them walk. Not so bad right? The White House says they are “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”

Jay, if they are low-risk, non-criminal detainees -- why are they in custody in the first place? Where are their lawyers? The immigration activists?

The truth -- somebody's lying.

They wouldn't be in custody if they weren't considered dangerous. They are the worst of the worst and they are letting them walk among us -- putting us in danger.

How do I know this?

I have the memo to all field office directors, all special agents in charge on the issue of the detention of illegal aliens from ICE's top dog, director John Morton. It says:

ICE agents should issue detainers only where the individual is an alien subject to removal and has a prior felony conviction, three or more misdemeanor convictions, or poses a significant risk to national security, border security or public safety.

And get this one -- they cannot detain an illegal, even if he or she has three misdemeanor convictions if they are minor misdemeanors. You know -- petty crimes and the like. ICE cannot arrest them, let alone detain them.

That means only the most serious are the ones in custody ... who are now being released.

But listen to this clueless California congresswoman in lock step with the White House:

Lucille Roybal-Allard: “The detainees in question are not dangerous criminals. They pose no risk to society.”

The reason they give for this mass exodus is that it's required by the sequester.

The truth: the release plan was hatched and acted on even before mandated cuts were signed into law. It's part of the Obama amnesty program.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: “Look, we’re doing our very best to minimize the impacts of sequester. But there’s only so much I can do. I’m supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those?”

How do you pay for them?

How about the fact that this year you had a carry-over of eight billion dollars from last year's budget.

How about the $70 million dollars you have in unobligated user fee balances.

I have an idea -- how about you reduce staff bonuses and performance awards.

How about you use those unspent funds from state and local grant programs instead of releasing criminals.

How about you not spend money on ridiculous things like:

-That $98k dollars for an underwater robot for Columbus, Ohio where there are no major rivers and few lakes nearby.

-That $24k dollars for a "latrine on wheels" in Fort Worth, Texas.

And by the way, if you're going to release those detainees, make me feel better -- give them a bill for those transgender hormone treatments, those new teeth and abortions they had while in custody.

Why not admit that your plan is to bring the mandated 34,000 inmates down to 25,000 in the next few weeks.

Even your own assistant secretary said statutory mandates that there be 34,000 in detention.

I guess Jay Carney didn't get that memo? Since he says the government had released "a few hundred" illegal immigrants held in federal detention pending deportation.

Now we know that's not true. And now you say you didn't know it was happening.

Like a corrections officer is going to let a few violent criminals out to please the warden -- who never asked for it in the first place.

But no problem. These criminals are going to voluntarily come back for their own deportation. The same ones who snuck into the country, are a danger to the rest of us. Right. Hope springs eternal.

I have an idea -- if you want to save money, if you want to release individuals who are non-violent criminals, even if they have triple misdemeanor convictions, why not release someone who didn't break the law to come here in the first place - why not release an American criminal.

Personally, I don't think anyone should be released from jail.

As I said, the first order of government is the protection of its people.

Don't miss ‘Justice with Judge Jeanine’ tonight at 9p ET!

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