I contacted Rep. Price, Democrat from North Carolina, who sponsored legislation to require ICE to keep track of alien criminals in local jails. His office emailed me back with the following information:
This direction to ICE is included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, H.R. 2638, which passed the House in June. See page 41 of the Committee report accompanying H.R. 2638, which provides more details (Link here: Report)The Senate is expected to consider its version of the bill this week, and we hope to have agreement on a final bill that both the House and Senate can approve by mid-September.
Here is the text of the proposed law:
PRIORITIES ENFORCING IMMIGRATION LAWS
The Committee is concerned that, as ICE increases its interior enforcement efforts as part of the Secure Border Initiative, the agency is losing perspective on which aliens represent the most significant threat to the nation’s social and economic fabric. The Committee questions why a significant number of illegal aliens serving sentences in State and local correctional facilities after conviction for various non-immigration crimes are still released from custody
without efforts made to deport those who are deportable. According to ICE estimates, approximately 630,000 foreign nationals are currently serving criminal sentences in U.S. prisons and jails, yet in 2005 ICE identified and deported only 79,000 of these individuals, leaving approximately 551,000 criminal aliens who have yet to be identified and processed for removal from the country. While estimates vary, many who analyze this problem believe a significant number of criminal aliens are released back into society after completing their sentences, rather than being processed for removal from the country.
CRIMINAL ALIEN PROGRAM
The Committee allocates $180,009,000 for the ICE Criminal Alien Program (CAP), which is $14,000,000 more than the amount requested and an increase of $42,515,000 above the 2007 enacted level. The Committee strongly encourages ICE to ensure that all incarcerated aliens eligible for deportation are removed from the country upon their release. Toward that end, the Committee includes statutory language requiring ICE to collect information from
every jail, prison and detention facility in the United States on a monthly basis to determine the population of incarcerated aliens, and to develop a plan to remove every removable alien upon their release from the corrections system. According to the Bureau of Prisons, nationwide there are approximately 1,500 Federal and State correctional institutions, and another 3,500 locally-administered jails. While contacting all of these facilities on a regular basis will require coordination and effort on the part of the agency, ICE has more than 8,000 employees who work on domestic investigations and who could help with this effort. The Committee directs ICE to report no later than January 1, 2008, on how it will meet this goal, the need for additional resources to do so, and its successes and challenges in working with State and local corrections managers.
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