News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Specter says convicted illegal aliens too often not deported

By Kathleen Brady Shea
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said today that he wants to increase the number of illegal aliens deported after being convicted of crimes.

In addition, Specter said government statistics show that convicted aliens have a high recidivism rate, putting the public at risk.

"The financial burden is very substantial," Specter said.

Addressing officials at Chester County Prison, Specter estimated the county's cost of housing illegal aliens at $1.7 million a year. Specter's appearance was the latest in a series of stops he had made at state and county prisons to address the issue.

The senator said he selected Chester County Prison as a site because it has "the highest number" of illegal immigrant inmates in the state. The county employs thousands of migrant workers in the mushroom industry.

A 2006 Department of Homeland Security report found that "substantial numbers" of criminal aliens are released from custody rather than deported due to inadequate resources, Specter said.

Among the difficulties, Specter cited the limited number of beds - 800 - at the federal York County Detention Center, the difficulty of obtaining accurate records, and the inability to compel the inmates' native countries to accept their return.

Specter suggested exploring three possible fixes.

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