Color him flabbergasted. CQ Homeland Security reports that Harold Rogers of Kentucky, the ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, is disturbed  that ICE is not only releasing illegal workers arrested during worksite enforcement raids but also giving them permission to return to work.

Rogers remarks came impromptu and unscripted during an unrelated hearing on cargo security, after he read reports like this one in the Associated Press (“ICE Releases Workers Arrested in Washington Raid”):

“Many of the 28 workers arrested by immigration agents last month in a northwest Washington raid have been released and given permission to work, in another sign of how the Obama administration is handling illegal immigration differently than its predecessor.”

“Today’s news that ICE has not only released 28 illegal immigrants who used false documents to obtain employment, but has allowed them to return to work is not only flabbergasting, it is de facto amnesty,” Rogers said after the hearing. “If we are not going to enforce the laws on the books, why do we even need ICE?”

Perhaps more unhappily for senior ICE officials testifying before Rogers’ committee today was his warning that they better come “well-armed” for today’s hearing on immigration enforcement priorities.