Lawmakers Vote to Deport Illegal Aliens

Legislation approved by the state House could result in the deportation of illegal aliens in state prisons, saving the state of Oklahoma millions of dollars.
House Bill 2245, by state Rep. Randy Terrill, would allow the Department of Corrections to send illegal alien inmates to the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The bill’s provisions apply only to criminals who are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes who have served at least half their sentence in state prison.
“The people of Oklahoma should not have to pay the tab for the federal government’s failures,” said Terrill, R-Moore. “The Criminal Illegal Alien Rapid Repatriation Act will shift the financial burden of imprisoning these inmates to the federal government and save the state more than $3 million.”
There are 166 offenders currently in state prisons that would be immediately eligible for transfer to federal facilities. The state currently pays about $20,000 per year to house each inmate.
Under the bill, the federal government would pay to house those offenders until they are processed for deportation.
There are currently 511 illegal aliens in state prisons with 69 percent of those criminals eligible for the proposed deportation program. (The other 157 are incarcerated for violent crimes and are therefore ineligible.)
In addition to the 166 inmates immediately eligible for deportation under the bill, another 188 illegal alien inmates should be eligible by the end of the next fiscal year.
Under the bill, any inmate shifted to federal custody who later illegally re-enters Oklahoma after his release would be required to serve the remainder of his state sentence in an Oklahoma prison, in addition to facing new charges and time for violations of federal immigration law.
House Bill 2245 passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives unanimously today and now proceeds to the state Senate.

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