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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Feds urge other states to follow Ariz. inmate deportation policy

by Sean Holstege - Apr. 15, 2008 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

The nation's top immigration officials want other states to copy an Arizona program that releases non-violent, illegal-immigrant inmates from state prisons and deports them.

Only New York has a similar program, in which eligible inmates are turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for immediate deportation.

Arizona has referred 1,443 state prisoners to ICE, saving $18.6 million, since the program began in 2005, said Dora Schriro, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections. On average, inmates were released 210 days early.

Also, 28 were caught after slipping back across the border and were convicted of new crimes in Arizona. Three of them received initial sentences ranging from 2½ to 3½ years. Their crimes included aggravated assault, domestic violence and burglary.

Eligible inmates typically were convicted of crimes from drunken driving to lower-level drug charges. Early this month, the state turned over three inmates for deportation. Two were convicted of drug charges, one for driving a stolen car.

Schriro said Arizona was the first state to team up with ICE under the Rapid Repatriation program to help state prison officials identify illegal immigrants when they are booked.

"It's a great program. It keeps criminals off the streets of Arizona. It saves the state lots of money," ICE spokesman Vincent Picard said.

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