Check Out How the DOJ Is Ramping Up Criminal Alien Deportations

March 31, 2017 in News by RBN Staff


Source: MRCTVBrittany M. Hughes

Under the new leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice is kicking up its ability to streamline deportations of convicted criminal aliens in federal prisons.

It’s hard to know how many illegal aliens are currently being housed in America’s federal prison system. A recent Pew Research study revealed the federal government charged a total of 20,762 defendants with immigration crimes in 2016 alone (although that number had dropped a significant 26 percent from 2011). About 92 percent of these cases were brought against persons who were in the country illegally.

In fact, after drug offenses, immigration charges consistently comprise the second-highest category of federal prosecutions.
Speaking of drug offenses, the United States Sentencing Commission found that nearly 75 percent of all federal drug charges (listed separately from immigration crimes) brought in 2014 were against illegal aliens, including nearly one in five drug trafficking charges.
Despite the high number of charges and convictions brought against illegal aliens, deporting them afterward can be difficult. On top of sanctuary cities who protect criminals housed in state and local prisons, backlogs in immigration courts are a primary factor keeping criminal aliens – even those being held in federal prisons – from being sent back to their home country. Short on judges and overloaded with cases, the Executive Office for Immigration Review is struggling under a roughly 520,000-case backlog, with some hearings scheduled out by as far as five or six years.
Across the board, the Department of Homeland Security stated there were roughly 1.9 million illegal aliens with criminal convictions loose in the United States as of just a few short years ago, many of them with pending immigration hearings. Others are simply living with (and ignoring) final removal orders they’ve already been given.

Sessions and the DOJ are seeking to reverse this trend, taking one of the first steps Thursday to speed up the immigration hearing and removal process of criminal aliens by increasing the number of immigration hearings they can conduct via teleconference. Here’s how it works, via the DOJ:

The [Institutional Hearing Program] identifies removable criminal aliens who are inmates in federal correctional facilities, provides in-person and video teleconference (VTC) immigration removal proceedings, and removes the alien upon completion of sentence, rather than releasing the alien to an ICE detention facility or into the community for adjudication of status. Bringing an Immigration Judge to the inmate for a determination of removability, rather than vice versa, saves time and resources and speeds hearings.
Now, instead of getting mired down in lengthy immigration proceedings after a criminal alien completes their sentence and risking that person being sent back to American communities in the meantime, the DOJ can simply adjudicate a person’s immigration status while they’re still locked up, leading to much quicker and efficient deportations.
The DOJ stated they’re increasing the number of federal and contracted facilities that can utilize the IHP program, as well as increasing these prisons’ video capabilities and developing a streamlined process for expedited hearings with immigration courts.