The agency is also suspending assignments known as "details" that sent agents from slower parts of the border to busier areas for months at a time. Agents on detail are often put up in hotels and receive a per diem.
The cuts have also forced the government to pull back on flight and ship patrols in the drug war in Central America.
Durazo learned about the budget issues while watching the news at his sister's home in the Phoenix area after his release. He crossed into the U.S. from his native Mexico in 1969 when he was 19, and he said he doesn't know what will happen next with his immigration case. He has, however, decided to embrace his good fortune.
"We gave many thanks to God, because we prayed a lot while we were in there," he said.