IMMIGRATION

Sessions seeks to speed up deportation of illegal immigrants in federal facilities

In this March 2, 2017, file photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington.

In this March 2, 2017, file photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday a plan to speed up the deportation of illegal immigrants housed in federal correctional facilities.

Sessions said the Justice Department will expand the Institutional Hearing Program, which identifies removable illegal immigrants who are inmates in federal correctional facilities, provides in-person and video teleconference immigration removal proceedings, and removes them upon completion of sentence.

This is done instead of rather than releasing them to an ICE detention facility or into the community for adjudication of status in an effort to speed up the process.

The expansion of the program will expand the number of active facilities with the program to a total of 14 federal prisons and six contract facilities.

As part of the expansion, each of the facilities will have their video teleconference abilities increased,  and have a new uniform intake policy by April 6.

“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,” said 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.”

The Justice Department believes these improvements will speed the process of deporting incarcerated illegal immigrants, and reduce costs to taxpayers.