[JURIST] US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] plans to step up deportation of illegal immigrants serving time in US prisons and jails during 2008, ICE Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers [official profile] said in an interview published Tuesday in the New York Times. Myers said ICE deported nearly 64,000 illegal immigrants who were serving time for criminal convictions in 2006; in comparison, the agency plans to deport more than 200,000 illegal immigrant criminals in 2008.
Illegal immigrants convicted for criminal offenses must finish their full sentence before facing deportation, but Myers said ICE hopes to convince states to reduce some sentences in exchange for the convicts' agreement to immediate deportation. In the last year, ICE has increasingly pushed for the deportation of illegal immigrants immediately upon their release from prison. The New York Times has more.