November 4, 1997
The Administration maintains a strong commitment to identifying and removing
criminal and other deportable aliens and will work with Congress to enhance
partnerships that work effectively to meet these goals.
The Administration opposes House passage of H.R. 1493, because it could hinder efforts to target the worst and most serious offenders -- i.e., aliens already incarcerated for criminal convictions. The bill would require the Attorney General, subject to appropriations, to identify certain illegal aliens or aliens subject to deportation from among those who are incarcerated in selected local prisons prior to their arraignment on criminal charges. At least one Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) employee would have to be detailed full-time to each facility. H.R. 1493 would, in effect, require the INS to refocus resources on individuals who have not been arraigned and may not be deportable.