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  Finance | Financial advice | Immigration | Special Needs | Accounting | Business | Labor Law | Asset Protection

IMMIGRATION

NEW PLAN TARGETS INCARCERATED CRIMINAL ALIENS


Gail S. Seeram
By GAIL S. SEERAM

In March 2008, U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) unveiled its Secure Communities plan, a comprehensive, multi-year initiative to more effectively identify, detain, and return removable criminal aliens incarcerated in federal, state and local prisons and jails.

ICE's plan will use expanded integration technology and build upon the relationships with state and local law enforcement agencies to ensure that incarcerated criminal aliens are removed from the country instead of being released into our communities after their time in custody. One of the key components of the Secure Communities plan is the distribution of integration technology that will link local law enforcement agencies to both Department of Homeland Security and FBI biometric databases.

Currently, as part of the routine booking process, local officers submit an arrested person's fingerprints through FBI databases to access that individual's criminal history. With interoperability, those fingerprints also will automatically be checked against DHS databases to access immigration history information. The automated process would notify ICE when fingerprints match those of an immigration violator. ICE officers would conduct follow-up interviews and take appropriate action.

Last year, ICE charged a record 164,000 aliens in law enforcement custody with immigration violations and removed about 95,000 aliens with criminal histories. ICE estimates that approximately 300,000 to 450,000 convicted criminal aliens who are removable are detained each year at federal, state and local prisons and jails. The total estimated cost to remove all convicted criminal aliens in custody annually will be from $2 to 3 billion.

Additional components of the Secure Communities plan:

o ICE will identify removable criminal aliens and prioritize their removal based on the threat they pose to the community.

o Working with ICE, U.S. Attorney's Offices will seek to prosecute more criminal aliens who illegally re-enter the country.

o ICE will continue and expand the use of its Rapid REPAT (Removal of Eligible Parolees Accepted for Transfer) program whereby non-violent criminal aliens serving state sentences receive early parole in exchange for assisting in their removal from the United States.

o ICE will provide 24/7 nationwide operational coverage for the Criminal Alien Program by assigning additional personnel in field offices, standing up command centers in priority areas, and expanding use of video teleconferencing to remotely interview and process criminals who are subject to removal.

Gail S. Seeram, an immigration attorney, handles cases involving family petitions, business/investors visas, citizenship, deportation, asylum, work authorization, and extension of status. Call her office toll free at 1-877-GAIL-LAW (1-877-424-5529), send an email at gail@go2lawyer.com or visit her Web site at www.go2lawyer.com.



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