Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the expansion and modernization of the Department’s Institutional Hearing Program (IHP).
The IHP identifies removable criminal aliens who are inmates in federal correctional facilities, provides in-person and video teleconference (VTC) immigration removal proceedings, and removes the alien upon completion of sentence, rather than releasing the alien to an ICE detention facility or into the community for adjudication of status. Bringing an Immigration Judge to the inmate for a determination of removability, rather than vice versa, saves time and resources and speeds hearings.
The program is coordinated by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“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 Attorney General Sessions. “This expansion and modernization of the Institutional Hearing Program gives us the tools to continue making Americans safe again in their communities.”
The expansion and modernization of the IHP program will occur in the following three ways:
1. ICE, BOP, and EOIR will expand the number of active facilities with the program to a total of 14 BOP and 6 BOP contract facilities;
2. EOIR and BOP will increase each facility’s VTC capabilities and update existing infrastructure to aid in the ability to conduct removal proceedings; and
3. EOIR and ICE will finalize a new and uniform intake policy. EOIR and ICE expect to have reached agreement on this new intake process by April 6, 2017.
These improvements will speed the process of deporting incarcerated criminal aliens and will reduce costs to taxpayers.