NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 17, 2008

The federal government is finally tackling another law-and-order aspect of immigration: deporting convicted criminals, says the Washington Times.

Under a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program known as Rapid Removal of Eligible Parolees Accepted for Transfer (REPAT):

  • Illegal aliens who are behind bars in state prison for non-violent crimes may be released early from prison, but only on the condition that they are deported immediately.
  • As part of the process, they waive the right to appeal their conviction and would face the entirety of their prison term without parole if they are caught trying to re-enter the United States.
  • The program could affect some of the estimated 200,000 illegal aliens behind bars who may face deportation in 2008, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The program is based on success stories in Arizona and New York, where similar programs saved taxpayers millions of dollars and offered some peace of mind to law-abiding Americans.  ICE could not estimate how much would be saved by fully implementing the rapid removal, though the figure is undoubtedly formidable.  A study by the Center for Immigration Studies found illegal households drained the federal government of an estimated $10.4 billion in 2002, and said that should illegal aliens be granted amnesty, that figure would balloon to an estimated $29 billion.

Source: Editorial, "Deporting lawbreakers," Washington Times, January 16, 2008.


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