CA: Well, the layoffs assume you can move 19,000 illegals out of the system. But we've always had the ability to do that. We've advocated for the last three years a look at the undocumented aspect of the prison population and turn them over to the feds, or send back across the border.
TSW: The administration says it will release or transfer low-level offenders.
CA: The problem is that most of those 19,000 have already been rejected (for transfer out of the system) because they're violent offenders. (The plan) is a sham. I would venture to guess that most of those 19,000 -- if there are that many in the prison system -- have an enhancement or serious violent felony.
The connection between these two problems is quite interesting; the problem of undocumented immigrant inmates, as it turns out, runs heavy and deep. At our conference in March, Angie Junck from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center discussed the challenges dealing with the situation, which involve inaccurate litmus tests based on the inmates' last names; placing suspected undocumented immigrants on a "hold" that lengthens their imprisonment time; and facing not only less privileges while in prison, but also harsh conditions at the center for deportation following the prison experiences. Is this population really what would make a big difference for CCPOA? And are we sure that shipping them off to the feds would result in budget savings (gien the lengthier prison times)?