Friday, November 6, 2009

Deportation before Conviction: A question of priorities or money?

Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA ran it's Deporting Justice story last night. The transcript reads, "Hundreds of accused felons charged with murder, rape, assault and kidnapping have been deported from Dallas County without having to face criminal prosecution. News 8 has found that the practice to allow charged felons to circumvent the justice system occurs not only in Dallas, but in major cities throughout Texas and the nation."

The federal government generally makes it a priority to place illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes in custody and ship them back to their home country. Many times, according to the article, the government does not tell the prosecuting attorneys. Thus, criminal defendants are deported before a case can go to trial.

I have a quibble with the story. It fails to mention a major reason why county jails want the federal government to take their undocumented prisoners- money. It costs money for counties to house prisoners. So there is an incentive for county and city prisons to let their prisoners go into ICE's custody. It also costs money for the federal government to house illegal immigrants awaiting deportation. Thus, ICE has streamlined the process and tries to deport illegal aliens accused of serious crimes as quickly as possible.

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