Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday announced the expansion of a program that speeds up the deportation process.
According to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) website, the Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) “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 (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) 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.”
“We owe it to the American people to ensure that illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes and are serving time in our federal prisons are expeditiously removed from our country as the law requires,” said Sessions. “This expansion and modernization of the Institutional Hearing Program gives us the tools to continue making Americans safe again in their communities.”
Sessions said the expansion will increase the process of deportations and reduce costs to taxpayers.
The DOJ states that the program will expand in the following ways:
1. ICE, BOP (Bureau of Prisons), and EOIR (Executive Office of Immigration Review) will expand the number of active facilities with the program to a total of 14 BOP and 6 BOP contract facilities.
2. EOIR and BOP will increase each facility’s VTC capabilities and update existing infrastructure to aid in the ability to conduct removal proceedings.
3. EOIR and ICE will finalize a new and uniform intake policy. EOIR and ICE expect to have reached agreement on this new intake process by April 6, 2017.
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