The Department of Justice announced Thursday the expansion of a program designed to deport imprisoned immigrants.
The Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) uses in-person and video-conference hearings in order for judges to determine whether an immigrant, regardless of legal status, should be deported after they serve their sentence. Bureau of Prison statistics show that a little over 20 percent of federal inmates are non-citizens.
“We owe it to the American people to ensure that illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes and are serving time in our federal prisons are expeditiously removed from our country as the law requires,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “This expansion and modernization of the Institutional Hearing Program gives us the tools to continue making Americans safe again in their communities.”
A recent analysis by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse showed that deportations from IHP have dropped dramatically since the late 1990s. This expansion and modernization of IHP will be done by increasing the amount of prisons that use the program, increasing those facilities’ video-conferencing abilities, and updating the DOJ’s and ICE’s intake policy.