Texas Shipping Out Foreign Prisoners
August 25, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 25 (UPI) — About 11,000 foreign prisoners in Texas are being deported in a cost cutting move, state officials say.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles sought assurances from federal immigration officials that the released inmates are actually deported to their home countries and not allowed to stay in Texas, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported Wednesday.
“We’re concerned that they’re not deported and they’re just released to the street,” Parole Board Chairwoman Rissie Owens told the newspaper. “We hear horror stories. With all of our votes, public safety is the main issue.”
A state law set to take effect Sept. 1 allows the parole board to approve parole for convicts under the condition they are deported, regardless of whether they are serving time for violent or non-violent crimes. It wasn’t clear how many inmates Texas might parole with the intent of deporting them, the American-Statesman said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials told state officials Wednesday any convicts not deported would be returned to state authorities.
“That’s nothing we can’t take care of,” ICE official Cari Cephas-Kimbrough told the board.