March 26, 2008
In November 2007, ICE began meeting with state executive agencies to discuss the concept of ICE Rapid REPAT (Removal of Eligible Parolees Accepted for Transfer) as part of the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) initiative. The concept, which has not yet been implemented, is modeled after two programs in the states of New York and Arizona that capitalize on ICE’s ability to more effectively identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens from the United States while still preserving the integrity of the criminal justice system. ICE field offices recently began to reach out to state executive agencies to present ICE ACCESS partnership opportunities, including ICE Rapid REPAT, where appropriate.
ICE Rapid REPAT is another law enforcement tool available that assists in ensuring that all criminal aliens serving criminal sentences are identified and processed for removal prior to their release from state custody. The identification and processing of incarcerated criminal aliens prior to release reduces the burden on the taxpayer, and ensures that criminal aliens are promptly removed from the United States upon completion of their criminal sentence. This program allows ICE to more effectively achieve its objective of identifying and quickly removing criminal aliens from the United States. ICE Rapid REPAT also allows ICE and participating states to reduce the costs associated with bed space.
The History of the New York and Arizona Programs
In 1986, New York amended sections of the New York executive law to implement Conditional Parole for Deportation Only (CPDO). This parole disposition is granted to an alien inmate who has not been convicted of a violent felony and is subject to a final order of removal, for which the alien has waived or exhausted his or her appeal. In June 2007, all Criminal Alien Program (CAP) activity within the New York State Department of Correctional Services transferred to the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO). The ICE DRO offices in Buffalo and New York City have removed 434 criminal aliens through CPDO since 2005. Between January 1995 and September 2007, the state of New York saved $140,654,380 through this program.
In 1996, Arizona implemented Release to Detainers/Deportation Orders from the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC). This form of unsupervised release authorizes the deportation of foreign-born inmates upon completion of one-half of the imposed sentence(s) pursuant to the Arizona Revised Statutes. This release is granted solely for deportation purposes to all foreign-born inmates who do not have any previous felony or sexually based convictions. These inmates must have a final order of removal and an ICE detainer lodged against them in order to be eligible for the program. In June 2007, all CAP activity within ADC transferred to DRO. The ICE field office in Phoenix has removed a total of 1,133 criminal aliens through this program since 2005.
ICE estimates that $812,000 is saved in detention costs per year as a result of the CPDO program because the parolees are detained for significantly less time than what is typical for an alien’s release to the ICE CAP. Furthermore, the program results in other intangible or non-measurable benefits to ICE. The primary efforts of obtaining travel documents fall on the alien, the alien's family, and the applicable consulate and embassy. In order for an alien to obtain benefits under the CPDO program, ICE must be able to remove the alien expeditiously without impediments.
New York and Arizona
Both New York and Arizona have realized substantial savings in cost avoidance through these programs. Between January 1995 and September 2007, the state of New York realized $140,654,380 in combined savings. Between April 2005 and August 2007, ADC realized $13,360,534 of bed space cost savings. In Arizona, the establishment of a single intake center for all prisoners sentenced to the ADC and a 100% touch rate of all foreign born inmates have all contributed to the total deportation cost avoidance.
ICE ACCESS Components
The complete list of ICE ACCESS components such as the CAP, Immigration Cross-Designation (Title 8) - 287g Program, and Operation Predator are available for download at http://www.ice.gov/partners/dro/iceaccess.htm.