Criminal Aliens: INS' Efforts to Identify and Remove Imprisoned Aliens Continue to Need Improvement, Statement of Norman J. Rabkin, Director, Administration of Justice Issues, General Government Division, before the Immigration and Claims Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 54KB]

"I am pleased to be here today to discuss the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) efforts to initiate and complete removal proceedings for criminal aliens in state and federal prisons through its Institutional Hearing Program (IHP). The IHP is a cooperative program involving the INS, the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), and federal and state correctional agencies. It was formally established in 1988 to enable INS and EOIR to complete removal proceedings for criminal aliens while they were still serving their sentences, thus eliminating the need for INS agents to locate the aliens after their release, and freeing up INS detention space for other cases. With the proceedings complete, expeditious removal of criminal aliens upon completion of their sentences can occur. Federal law requires the Attorney General to initiate and, to the extent possible, complete removal proceedings for aggravated felons before their release from incarceration. INS has been delegated the authority to enforce the immigration laws. In 1997, we reported to this Subcommittee that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) needed to improve its efforts to identify potentially deportable criminal aliens in federal and state prisons and complete the IHP for these aliens before they were released. We based this conclusion on our analysis of data provided by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and five states on foreign-born inmates who were released from their prison systems between April and September, 1995."

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