(NEWSER– As the clock ticks toward Friday's sequester deadline, we get what the AP calls the first tangible sign of those automatic budget cuts: The feds have released hundreds of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation hearings at detention centers around the country, reports the New York Times.

A spokeswoman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office tied the move directly to the looming cuts: “ICE has directed field offices to review the detained population to ensure it is in line with available funding."

Read more at Newser.com