December 22, 2009
Arizona Prisons Plan to Transfer Illegal Immigrants to Federal Custody
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Desperate to save money, Arizona will transfer illegal immigrants who have been convicted of nonviolent crimes to federal custody for the last three months of their sentences, saving the state the cost of housing them.
Currently, prisoners who are not illegal immigrants are eligible to leave prison 90 days before their sentences end and begin community service. Under the new plan, which begins Jan. 1, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will take custody of the illegal immigrants pending deportation. The Arizona Department of Corrections said that a total of more than 1,200 prisoners would be moved this fiscal year and next, saving about $5.7 million.
Gov. Jan Brewer called for the move in an address to senior members of her administration after the Legislature hammered out a plan over the weekend to cut nearly $200 million from the current budget to help close a $1.5 billion shortfall. Like many other Western states, Arizona has been hit disproportionately by the foreclosure crisis, halting the state’s economic growth.
Arizona also has some of the toughest sentencing laws in the country, and its prison costs are about $1 billion a year.
“The cost of incarcerating these criminals is not Arizona’s responsibility,” Ms. Brewer said in prepared remarks. “By federal law, the cost of their incarceration is the responsibility of the federal government. However, the federal government is refusing to adequately fund this program.”
Arizona, like many other states, already releases some jailed illegal immigrants to the immigration authorities, but the new plan would expand the pool. Currently, it releases about 200 prisoners a month to immigration before their sentences are finished, according to the federal agency.
“Identifying and removing deportable criminal aliens is a top priority for I.C.E.,” Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in a prepared statement.
hey its keke ...whats up?? ...well
arizona will transfer illegal immigrants who have been convicted of nonviolent crimes to federal custody for the last three months of their sentences, saving the state the cost of housing them.
ok....this is suppose to be to save money..since we are in a recession people! arizona inmates...i mean immigrant inmates have no rights...they aren't even suppose to be here...they want to remove those convicted of nonviolent crimes. basicly if they can they tryna put them in other places or send them packing back to where they came from....sending them to immigrantion...there they will be deported aka bye bye...how do i feel about this? ....go arizona...save that money...their criminals they came here and messed up....send them back!!!