Immigrants who committed crimes in the United States but who have managed to avoid deportation are the subject of a new federal crackdown. The Los Angeles Times ays that some 80,000 “criminal alien absconders” are on the loose, many of them keeping low profiles after serving prison time.
Another 300,000 immigrant absconders have received deportation orders but have eluded. With a $10-million appropriation from Congress, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it will redouble efforts to find and deport them. The bureau is now part of the Homeland Security Department.
The agency released a “most wanted list” yesterday that features child molesters, killers, rapists and drug felons. “These are not crime bosses, but they are a threat to the public,” said Neil Clark, a senior bureau agent.
Some on the list of nine men and one woman have convictions dating back to the late 1980s.
Immigration authorities now coordinate with many penal institutions, but many foreign-born convicts slip through the dragnet. The federal government has eight teams of agents tracking down such fugitives in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Miami and Newark, N.J. New York has two of the units. The additional funds will be used partly to double the number of teams, assigning agents to Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Washington state.