Texas Federal Courts Experiment With Speeding Deportations


Federal courts in Texas are running an experiment that reformers hope will help transform the costly and sluggish deportation system, says the Center for Investigative Reporting. The program hinges on a provision of U.S. immigration law that allows federal courts, rather than immigration judges, to order the deportation of immigrants who have committed serious crimes and don't want to fight to stay in the U.S. Supporters say the program could save money on prison and jail costs and other court expenses while extending constitutional rights that noncitizens generally don't have in immigration court. “If the defendant is willing to do it, why would we not want to deport them?” said U.S. District Judge Alia Moses of Del Rio, Tx., In the new program, the deportation process starts before the defendant is sent to prison. That gives deportation officers a jump on obtaining travel documents to the immigrant's native country, which often can be a time-consuming and laborious effort. It could save months, if not years, in some cases. When the defendant accepts the arrangement, he or she waives the right to appeal.

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