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Oregon Starts Moving Illegal Immigrants Out Of Its Prisons February 7, 2010

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

After several months of delay, state and federal officials have reached an agreement to deport illegal immigrants with less than six months left on their sentences out of the state’s prisons and into an expedited deportation process.

The memorandum of understanding between Oregon and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration & Customs Enforcement means that inmates who waive all rights to contest a deportation will have their sentences commuted and be quickly deported.
Six sentences were commuted yesterday after the agreement was signed on Monday, officials from Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s office said. The vast majority of the 206 inmates eligible for the early release are from Mexico, state records show.

To be eligible for the early release, inmates must be offenders who’ve not been convicted of any violent, sexual or Measure 11 crimes. The early deportation program was signed into law last summer in Salem as part of a broad cost-saving corrections package. Lawmakers planned to save $2.1 million by transferring 175 prisoners to federal immigration authorities over the biennium.

The state had expected to save $700,000 by Dec. 1 through the early deportation program but a legal glitch in reaching the agreement with the feds held it up. With states across the country strapped by the recession and looking to trim prison costs, the immigration service agreed to work with states across the country to deport criminal offenders before their sentences expire. Several states have deported prisons under the program.

Inmates who participate in the program not only waive their rights to challenge a deportation, they face significant federal prison time if they are caught in the United States again illegally.



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