oversight

Criminal Aliens: INS' Efforts To Identify and Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need To Be Improved

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-07-15.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                            United States General Accounting Office

GAO                         Testimony
                            Before the Immigration and Claims Subcommittee
                            Committee on the Judiciary
                            House of Representatives


For Release on Delivery
Expected at 9:30 a.m. EDT
July 15, 1997
                            CRIMINAL ALIENS


                            INS’ Efforts To Identify And
                            Remove Imprisoned Aliens
                            Need To Be Improved

                            Statement of Norman J. Rabkin
                            Director, Administration of Justice Issues
                            General Government Division




GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Summary

Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
Improved
                The Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) is the Department of Justice’s
                main vehicle for placing aliens who are incarcerated in federal and state
                prisons into deportation proceedings so that they can be expeditiously
                deported upon release from prison. In fiscal years 1995 and 1996, Congress
                authorized dedicated IHP staff to help expand and enhance the program.

                The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has not fully complied
                with the law’s requirements concerning criminal aliens who committed
                aggravated felonies, nor has it realized the full potential of the IHP. INS did
                not identify many deportable criminal aliens before their release from
                prison. For the second half of fiscal year 1995, this resulted in nearly 2,000
                criminal aliens, including some aggravated felons, being released into U.S.
                communities without an INS determination of the risk they posed to public
                safety. GAO asked INS to determine whether there had been post-release
                criminal activity by 635 of these criminal aliens. INS determined that
                23 percent had been rearrested for crimes, including 183 felonies.

                INS did not complete the IHP for the majority of criminal aliens who were
                identified as potentially deportable and were released from federal and
                five state prisons during the last 6 months of fiscal year 1995. INS was able
                to more quickly remove from the country those aliens for whom it
                completed the IHP with final deportation orders than those aliens for whom
                it completed deportation hearings after their prison release. If INS had
                completed proceedings for all aliens released from state and federal
                prisons in fiscal year 1995 before their release, it could have avoided
                nearly $63 million in detention costs.

                INS’ efforts to improve the IHP have encountered several impediments. The
                federal Bureau of Prisons and some states have accepted INS’ proposals to
                make the processing of aliens more efficient, but others have not. Further,
                INS did not staff the IHP at the expected levels because of hiring delays,
                agent attrition, and the use of lower graded agents to replace rather than
                supplement higher graded agents already working on IHP cases. Finally,
                INS’ top managers did not adequately respond to identified IHP performance
                problems.

                GAO    is making recommendations designed to help INS realize more of the
                IHP’s   potential.




                Page 1                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Statement

Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
Improved
                   Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

                   I am pleased to be here today to discuss the Institutional Hearing Program
                   (IHP), a cooperative program involving the Department of Justice and the
                   states. The program’s goal is to place incarcerated criminal aliens in
                   deportation hearings so they can be readily deported upon their release
                   from prison.1 Removing deportable aliens—particularly criminal aliens2
                   —has been the subject of congressional hearings and has been designated
                   as a management priority at INS.

                   To assess the performance of the IHP, we reviewed INS activities and
                   analyzed data on over 17,000 foreign-born individuals released from
                   prisons in the last half of fiscal year 1995. Our work was designed to:

               •   determine the extent to which deportable criminal aliens were included in
                   the IHP,
               •   assess the extent to which INS completed deportation hearings for
                   deportable aliens during their time in prison or after their release, and
               •   assess INS’ efforts to enhance the IHP.

                   We focused primarily on fiscal years 1995 and 1996 because during these
                   years Congress provided additional resources for IHP operations, and INS
                   initiated several measures intended to improve the IHP’s effectiveness in
                   deporting criminal aliens. We concentrated primarily on the activities of
                   INS—as opposed to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR),
                   which makes judicial decisions regarding deportability—because INS has
                   the lead role in identifying incarcerated criminal aliens, determining their
                   deportability, initiating deportation proceedings, and removing aliens from
                   the United States. In addition, we focused on IHP activities in the federal
                   Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and in five states that account for over 80 percent
                   of the total number of incarcerated foreign-born inmates in the country.
                   These states are Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Texas.

                   To assess the extent to which hearings were initiated and completed, we
                   reviewed INS’ nationwide statistics on the IHP. To identify which released
                   inmates were in or had completed deportation proceedings, we asked EOIR



                   1
                    Under revised provisions for the removal of aliens established in the Illegal Immigration Reform and
                   Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, aliens charged by INS as deportable are now placed
                   in “removal” proceedings as opposed to “deportation” proceedings. For consistency, we refer to these
                   proceedings as deportation hearings or proceedings throughout this testimony.
                   2
                    For definitions of “alien” and “criminal alien,” see appendix I.



                   Page 2                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-154
             Statement
             Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
             Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
             Improved




             to do a computer match of EOIR data with data from BOP and seven states3
             on foreign-born aliens released in the last half of fiscal year 1995. To
             gather data on aliens taken into INS custody and removed, we asked INS to
             match the data obtained from BOP and the seven states against INS’
             Deportable Alien Control System. In addition, we asked INS to extract
             certain information from alien files for a random sample of released
             foreign-born inmates.4 To assess INS’ success in enhancing the IHP, we
             interviewed INS, BOP, and EOIR officials in headquarters and field locations
             and state corrections department staff. We also reviewed INS plans,
             performance reports, and other documentation on the IHP. (See app. II for
             a more detailed description of our scope and methodology.) Our work was
             conducted between January 1996 and July 1997 in accordance with
             generally accepted government auditing standards.

             Based on information developed from interviews, documentary review,
             and analyses of data from large automated databases and from alien case
             files, our assessment of the IHP’s performance is that it falls far short of its
             overall goals. We found that (1) INS failed to identify many deportable
             criminal aliens, including aggravated felons, and initiate IHP proceedings
             for them before they were released from prison; (2) INS did not complete
             the IHP by the time of prison release for the majority of criminal aliens it
             did identify; and (3) INS has not realized several intended enhancements to
             the IHP.


             Criminal aliens cost our criminal justice systems hundreds of millions of
Background   dollars annually and are generally perceived to be a serious and growing
             threat to public safety. In response to these problems, several major laws
             were passed between 1986 and 1996 that provided for the initiation of
             deportation proceedings for certain criminal aliens while incarcerated,
             expanded the types of crimes for which aliens could be deported, and
             sought to facilitate the expeditious removal of those aliens found to be
             deportable.

             The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, P.L. 99-603, requires that
             INS initiate deportation proceedings for criminal aliens as expeditiously as
             possible after the date of conviction. INS and EOIR established the IHP to
             meet this requirement. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, P.L. 100-690,


             3
              In addition to the five states, we also obtained data on Illinois and New Jersey. As explained in
             appendix II, these states were dropped because data from these states’ corrections departments could
             not be reliably matched with INS’ data.
             4
              When foreign-born inmates are interviewed to determine their deportability, INS agents are to
             document the interview in the aliens’ files, which are referred to as “A-files.”


             Page 3                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                  Statement
                  Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
                  Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
                  Improved




                  defined the crimes of murder and drug or weapons trafficking as
                  “aggravated felonies” and required INS to begin and, to the extent possible,
                  complete deportation proceedings for aggravated felons before their
                  release from prison. It also required that INS take all such aggravated
                  felons into custody upon completion of their sentences. In the early 1990s,
                  the law was changed to allow INS to release aggravated felons from
                  custody if they were lawfully admitted aliens, were not a threat to the
                  community, and were likely to appear for their deportation hearings.
                  However, beginning in October 1996, under provisions of the Illegal
                  Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, P.L.
                  104-208 (1996 Act), INS is required to take into custody a much larger class
                  of criminal aliens beyond aggravated felons.5


The IHP Process   INS agents generally rely on state and federal corrections personnel to
                  notify them of incoming prisoners who state they are foreign born or
                  whom corrections personnel identify as foreign born. Corrections
                  personnel typically first learn that prisoners are foreign born during prison
                  intake procedures, which include interviews with and record checks on
                  arriving inmates. The IHP process begins when INS agents screen
                  foreign-born prisoners to determine their deportability. The INS agents who
                  screen foreign-born prisoners may be permanently assigned to a state or
                  federal prison or may travel to the prison from their official duty stations.
                  If the INS agent determines that an inmate has committed a crime for
                  which he or she can be deported, the agent is to file a “detainer” with
                  corrections officials. A detainer in a prisoner’s record signifies that he or
                  she is to be released to INS custody upon completion of the prison
                  sentence.

                  The information that INS agents gather on a criminal alien is to be used to
                  prepare an Order to Show Cause, a document that charges the alien with
                  having committed a deportable offense. INS attorneys are to review the
                  order for legal sufficiency and file it with EOIR. EOIR is to schedule an initial
                  hearing and notify the alien. Once the alien is notified, the alien is included
                  in the IHP. The purpose of the initial hearing is to explain the process to the
                  alien, resolve evidentiary issues, prepare a list of desired witnesses, and
                  address the issue of legal representation for the alien.6 The alien may

                  5
                   The 1996 Act made major changes to immigration law and procedures, many of which went into effect
                  on April 1, 1997. Since our review focused primarily on fiscal years 1995 and 1996, the changes in the
                  1996 Act are generally not reflected in this testimony.
                  6
                   The immigration judge is to inform the alien of his or her right to be represented by counsel at no cost
                  to the government. The judge is to advise the alien of the availability of free legal service programs and
                  ensure that the alien has been given a list of such programs.



                  Page 4                                                                              GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                         Statement
                         Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
                         Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
                         Improved




                         immediately accept an order for deportation. Alternatively, a subsequent
                         hearing may be held, during which witnesses may be called and evidence
                         may be entered supporting INS’ charge of deportability and/or the alien’s
                         claim for relief from deportation. After all the evidence is presented, an
                         immigration judge renders a final decision. If the alien is ordered deported,
                         a deportation order referred to as a “final order of deportation” is to be
                         served on the alien.

                         The IHP ends when the alien is released from prison (1) with a final
                         decision that either orders the alien deported, grants the alien relief from
                         deportation, or closes the case in some other manner;7 or (2) prior to a
                         final decision on the case. INS is required to take certain deportable aliens
                         into custody, whether or not the IHP proceedings have been completed.8
                         Those for whom the IHP proceedings are completed by issuance of a final
                         order of deportation are to be held in detention until they are removed
                         from the United States. A flow chart of the IHP process is in appendix III.


                         INSdoes not have information on all imprisoned criminal aliens. As a
INS Failed to Identify   result, INS has no assurance that it complied with the legal requirements
Many Deportable          that it (1) place criminal aliens who had committed aggravated felonies in
Criminal Aliens,         deportation proceedings while they are incarcerated, or (2) take those
                         aggravated felons into custody upon their release from prison.
Including Aggravated
Felons, Who Were         Our analysis of data on 17,320 foreign-born inmates released from BOP and
                         5 state prisons during the last half of fiscal year 1995 showed that INS and
Released From Prison     EOIR databases had no indication that IHP procedures had been initiated for
                         nearly 6,000 individuals. To determine why these individuals were not in
                         INS’ database—for example, whether INS may have screened them for the
                         IHP and/or put them into deportation proceedings without recording the
                         information in its database—we drew a random sample of these cases and
                         asked INS district offices to extract relevant information from individual

                         7
                          IHP proceedings may be discontinued by an immigration judge in several ways other than the
                         issuance of a final order of deportation or the granting of relief from deportation, including
                         (1) administrative closure for such reasons as the alien did not appear for a hearing, and the judge
                         decided that the alien was not properly notified; (2) a change of venue, whereby the immigration judge
                         transfers the case to another immigration judge’s jurisdiction, as can occur when an alien who starts
                         IHP proceedings is released before the case is completed; and (3) termination, when the immigration
                         judge decides that insufficient grounds exist to issue a final order of deportation, and the alien is
                         allowed to remain in the United States.
                         8
                          During the time of our review, INS was required to take into custody and detain criminal aliens
                         convicted of aggravated felonies. Lawfully admitted aliens who did not pose a threat to the community
                         and who were deemed likely to appear for their hearings could be released. Criminal aliens not
                         convicted of aggravated felonies could be taken into custody and then could be released on bond or on
                         their own recognizance, pending completion of deportation proceedings.



                         Page 5                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Statement
Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
Improved




alien files. On the basis of 329 responses obtained from INS districts in
Arizona, California, New York, and Texas, and from BOP, we found that INS
could not determine whether it had interviewed many of these
foreign-born inmates to determine their deportability.9

We requested INS’ Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) to conduct a
follow-up search to help determine whether any of the nearly 6,00010
released inmates were potentially deportable criminal aliens. LESC
identified 1,899 of these foreign-born inmates as deportable criminal aliens
because of their immigration status and the nature of the crime they had
committed. Although aliens meeting these criteria are to be screened by
INS and put into deportation proceedings as expeditiously as possible
following their convictions, there was no indication in INS’ or EOIR’s
databases that these actions occurred while the aliens were in prison or
after they were released.11

Under the law, INS is required to initiate deportation proceedings against
aggravated felons while they are in prison and take them into custody
upon their release.12 Because the definition of “aggravated felony” has
been expanded several times since it was first created in 1988, determining
whether a criminal alien would have been classified as an aggravated felon
at the time of his or her release depends on the definition in effect at the
time of conviction in some cases, and the date of commission of the
offense in other cases. LESC identified 635 of 1,899 released criminal aliens
as having committed crimes that were defined as aggravated felonies at
the time that LESC did its analysis—July 1996 through March 1997.
However, LESC told us that it was not possible for it to determine whether
all of these 635 aliens had committed crimes that were considered
aggravated felonies at the time they were convicted because doing so


9
 Our sample was originally designed so that we could statistically estimate how many of the nearly
6,000 cases were interviewed, placed in deportation proceedings, or did not have any indication of
having been interviewed by INS. However, an error in the computer matching done by INS resulted in
INS having to redo the match and send us new data. Because our sample was drawn before the error
was detected, we are not able to make statistical projections from the case file review.
10
  There were 5,884 foreign-born inmates whom BOP and the 5 states told us were released from prison
but were not contained in INS and EOIR databases. LESC checked the records of 5,109 of these
released inmates.
11
  The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General reported in September 1995 that some states
had substantial numbers of foreign-born inmates who had not been interviewed and processed through
the IHP. The report concluded that if INS did not eliminate the existing backlogs, foreign-born inmates
would be released into the community without INS having identified them as deportable.
12
 As discussed earlier, under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996,
beginning October 1996, INS is required to take into custody a larger group of criminal aliens than
aggravated felons.



Page 6                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                             Statement
                             Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
                             Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
                             Improved




                             would be too resource intensive. Although LESC was unable to determine
                             the history of all of the 635 aliens

                             who were released, it identified some who had committed crimes that met
                             the aggravated felony definition either at the time of the offense or at the
                             time of their conviction.

                             According to INS and EOIR databases, none of the nearly 6,000 aliens had
                             been in deportation proceedings while they were in prison or afterward,
                             had been taken into INS custody, or had been deported. We asked INS to
                             follow up on the post-release criminal activities of the 635 aggravated
                             felons. In a July 11, 1997 letter, INS told us that:

                         •   148 of the 635 have been rearrested since their release,
                         •   31 of the 635 have been rearrested more than once,
                         •   the 148 aliens were charged with committing 184 felonies; and
                         •   114 of the 148 have been convicted.


                             INS’overall goal for the IHP is to have all deportable criminal aliens released
INS Did Not Complete         from federal and state prisons with final deportation orders. However,
the IHP for a Majority       according to IHP and other INS managers, they recognized that, for various
of Released Criminal         reasons, INS would not have sufficient staff to enable INS to complete
                             deportation proceedings for all criminal aliens in all states while they were
Aliens, Resulting in         in prison. Therefore, for fiscal years 1995 and 1996, INS set nationwide
Avoidable Detention          operational goals that were lower than INS’ desired goal for the IHP.
                             Specifically, for fiscal years 1995 and 1996, respectively, INS’ operational
Costs Amounting to           goals were that about 30 and 40 percent of the criminal aliens whom it
Millions of Dollars          took into custody would have completed deportation proceedings with
                             final deportation orders prior to their release from prison and would be
                             removed.13 The goals were based on IHP managers’ estimates of the
                             number of aliens who could be processed through the IHP and removed. It
                             was necessary to produce estimates using this method because INS did not
                             have a formal workload model that would systematically take into account
                             such factors as the projected number of foreign-born inmates, number of
                             prisons that must be visited, number and types of IHP staff expected to be
                             available, length of time required to process cases, and travel time and
                             costs. Further, although district directors make resource allocation
                             decisions for their districts,and are directly responsible for implementing



                             13
                               INS’ operational goals for fiscal years 1995 and 1996, respectively, were to complete hearings for,
                             take into custody, and remove 8,250 and 13,400 criminal aliens nationwide.



                             Page 7                                                                             GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Statement
Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
Improved




the IHP, top management officials did not allocate the national operational
goals among the district directors with IHP responsibilities.

In each of fiscal years 1995 and 1996, INS completed the IHP for, obtained a
final deportation order for, and deported about 32 percent of the released
criminal aliens that it took into custody from federal and state prisons.
Relative to its operational goals, INS exceeded the fiscal year 1995 goal of
30 percent and fell short of the fiscal year 1996 goal of 40 percent.
However, relative to its overall goal of 100 percent, INS did not complete
the IHP for and remove approximately two-thirds of the criminal aliens it
took into custody upon their release from state and federal prisons in
either of these 2 years.

INS’ data on the IHP are limited because, as discussed earlier, INS has not
identified all individuals who are foreign-born inmates in the BOP and state
prison systems and does not maintain a centralized database of these
individuals, which would enable it to routinely track the IHP status of all
potentially deportable inmates. Therefore, it could not readily determine
where individuals were in the IHP process, nor could it readily provide
summary information on the number of criminal aliens who had
committed aggravated felonies. Consequently, we performed an analysis of
data on foreign-born inmates who, according to BOP and the corrections
departments of the five states we reviewed, were released from their
prison systems during the last 6 months of fiscal year 1995 and, according
to INS and EOIR data, were potentially deportable. There were 11,436
released inmates in this population. We found that 40 percent of these
aliens left prison with a final deportation order (having completed the IHP),
3 percent left prison without a deportation order but with INS having
completed the deportation hearing process, and INS completed the process
for 49 percent after they were released from prison. For the remaining
8 percent of cases, there was no indication that hearings were completed
either before or after prison release. Appendix IV shows the variation
among the states and BOP in the number of foreign-born inmates who
completed the hearing process.

Our analysis showed that INS was able to quickly remove those deportable
aliens who had completed the IHP with final deportation orders before they
were released from prison—75 percent were removed from the United
States within 1 week of their prison release. Of the aliens for whom INS
started deportation hearings before prison release and completed them
after release, 75 percent were removed in about 5 weeks after their
release. However, among the aliens for whom INS started and completed



Page 8                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                      Statement
                      Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
                      Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
                      Improved




                      the hearing process after their release from prison, it took about 1 year
                      before 75 percent were removed.14

                      Not completing deportation proceedings during incarceration means that
                      INS has to use its limited detention space to house most released criminal
                      aliens rather than using the space to detain other aliens. INS acknowledges
                      that it incurs detention costs for housing these aliens when these costs
                      could be avoided. On the basis of INS’ nationwide data for fiscal year 1995,
                      we estimated that INS could have avoided nearly $63 million in detention
                      costs for aliens who were released before INS completed the IHP process.15


                      Since 1994, INS has focused its efforts on improving IHP operations in BOP
INS Has Not           and in seven states—Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New
Enhanced the IHP to   York, and Texas—which INS estimates account for 86 percent of the
the Extent Intended   criminal aliens incarcerated in state and federal prisons. INS developed
                      formal enhancement plans for BOP and the seven states. These plans were
                      generally designed to improve efficiency by reducing the number of intake,
                      hearing, and release sites and by increasing IHP staffing. INS also made the
                      removal of criminal aliens an INS management priority.

                      We reviewed the status of INS’ enhancement efforts in BOP and four
                      states—California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Our work has shown
                      that several factors have slowed INS’ efforts to improve the operations of
                      the IHP. First, through the enhancement plans, INS generally sought to
                      reduce the number of state prison facilities that served as intake, hearing,
                      and release sites for foreign-born inmates. However, INS needed the states’
                      approval to implement such a reduction, and approval was not always
                      forthcoming. On the one hand, several states reduced the number of sites
                      they had been operating: for example, Texas went from about 25 release
                      sites to a single facility. On the other hand, some states did not consolidate
                      their IHP sites to the extent INS had wanted. For example, Florida would
                      not agree to reduce the number of release sites to less than 15, citing
                      security concerns as a reason for not further reducing the number of sites.

                      Second, INS did not achieve its expected staffing levels for the IHP in fiscal
                      years 1995 and 1996 for several reasons:




                      14
                       For those aliens who were deported, appendix V contains a fuller analysis of the time that elapsed
                      between their release from prison and their deportation.
                      15
                        See appendix VI for a discussion of how we estimated these costs.



                      Page 9                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-154
    Statement
    Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
    Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
    Improved




•   Because of budget and funding delays, INS could not hire new agents for
    the IHP until about 6 months into each of fiscal years 1995 and 1996. In
    fiscal year 1995, INS did not authorize hiring for newly established IHP
    positions until February 1995. In fiscal year 1996, according to INS budget
    staff, Congress did not approve INS’ budget until almost 7 months into the
    year. Because it takes about 2 months to recruit and screen applicants for
    these positions and about 4 months to train them, many of the newly hired
    agents who required training were unavailable to work on the IHP in the
    fiscal year in which their positions were funded.
•   INS did not clearly communicate to its field offices whether newly hired
    immigration agents were to replace or supplement the special agents
    already assigned to the IHP. Top INS managers who were tasked with
    overseeing the IHP told us that they expected that newly hired agents
    would supplement special agents already assigned to the IHP. However, the
    officials were not able to provide us with documentation that they
    formally communicated this to the INS districts where immigration agents
    were assigned. Because INS district directors have authority to adjust
    programmatic staffing levels, some districts used the new immigration
    agents as supplements, and other district directors used them as
    replacements for special agents assigned to the IHP. For example, the
    Dallas district director increased IHP staffing because he assigned three
    new immigration agents to supplement the two special agents already
    processing IHP cases at a BOP facility. In contrast, the New Orleans district
    director reassigned two special agents who were working on IHP cases and
    replaced them with five newly hired immigration agents. As a result,
    although the number of agents assigned to the IHP in the New Orleans
    district increased, it was two fewer than the number of agents that the lead
    official expected would be assigned to the IHP.
•   Immigration agent attrition was also a problem. For example, in fiscal year
    1996 the average attrition rate for all INS staff was about 11 percent. In
    comparison, the attrition rate for immigration agents was about
    30 percent.16 According to INS, one reason for this relatively high attrition
    rate was that immigration agents who were hired to staff the IHP left for
    potentially better paying positions within INS, such as that of special agent.
    Immigration agents are limited in their benefits and advancement
    opportunities, but they often possess many of the qualifications required
    for INS positions with greater pay and advancement potential; thus, they
    were competitive for filling vacancies in those potentially better paying
    positions.



    16
     These attrition rates represent only the internal organizational movement of INS staff from one INS
    position to another and do not include losses to other employers.



    Page 10                                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                  Statement
                  Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
                  Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
                  Improved




                  Third, although INS has designated the removal of criminal aliens, through
                  the IHP and other programs, as a key management priority, top
                  management officials did not adequately respond to identified problems
                  with the IHP. INS’ fiscal year 1996 mid-year and third quarter progress
                  reports, prepared by the IHP staff for top management, stated that INS
                  would fall short of its IHP goal at the current productivity rate. INS criteria
                  indicate that when resources are not adequate to accomplish program
                  objectives, lead officials for the priority areas must either identify
                  necessary changes in the work processes to increase productivity in order
                  to meet the goal, or they must propose modifying the priority objective to
                  match realistic expectations of available resources. However, top
                  management officials did not revise the goals or, alternatively, develop a
                  plan of action to ensure that INS would meet its goal. As discussed earlier,
                  in fiscal year 1996, INS fell short of its IHP operational goal.



                  If fully implemented, the IHP would be an effective way to achieve the
Conclusions and   requirements of the law regarding the timely deportation of eligible
Recommendations   criminal aliens. However, the IHP is a resource-intensive program that
                  relies in large part on the cooperation of BOP and the state departments of
                  corrections. To date, some of the states INS has approached about IHP
                  enhancements have not cooperated to the extent that INS has sought.
                  Further, INS has not implemented the IHP in a way that would ensure
                  optimum performance, nor has it systematically determined what
                  resources would be needed to achieve that level of performance.

                  We believe that INS can take steps that will improve the operations of and
                  outcomes from the IHP. First, INS needs better information about prison
                  inmates—more specifically, which inmates are eligible for the IHP and
                  which of these inmates have been and have not been included in the
                  program. Our work has shown that INS’ databases do not contain complete
                  and current information on the IHP status of individual foreign-born
                  inmates at any given point in time. We could not use INS’ data to determine
                  which of the released foreign-born inmates had been screened for the IHP,
                  identified as deportable, or placed in the hearing process.

                  Therefore, we recommend that the Commissioner establish a nationwide
                  data system containing the universe of foreign-born inmates reported to
                  INS by BOP and the state departments of corrections and use this system to
                  track the IHP status of each inmate.




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Statement
Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
Improved




Second, the law requires INS to take certain actions with regard to criminal
aliens who have been convicted of aggravated felonies beyond those
required for other criminal aliens. As mentioned above, INS is required by
law to initiate and, to the extent possible, complete deportation
proceedings against aggravated felons while they are in prison and to take
them into custody upon their release. Yet our work shows that INS did not
fully comply with the required provisions of the law in effect prior to 1996.

Therefore, we recommend that the Commissioner give priority to aliens
serving time for aggravated felonies by establishing controls to ensure that
these aliens are identified from among the universe of foreign-born
inmates provided by BOP and the states, are placed into deportation
proceedings while in prison, and are taken into custody upon their release.

Third, INS has established IHP performance goals without having a
systematic basis for determining what performance results it could
accomplish with various resource levels. We found that INS has not
developed a uniform method for projecting the resources it would
need—taking into consideration the level of cooperation from BOP and the
states—to achieve its overall goal of completing deportation proceedings
for every eligible foreign-born inmate before release or for alternative
operational goals.

Therefore, we recommend that the Commissioner (1) develop a workload
analysis model to identify the IHP resources needed in any period to
achieve overall program goals and the portion of those goals that would be
achievable with alternative levels of resources, and (2) use the model to
support its IHP funding and staffing requests. Such a model should consider
several factors, including the number of foreign-born inmates, number of
prisons that must be visited, number and types of IHP staff, length of time
to process cases, and travel time and costs.

Fourth, the relatively high attrition rate among immigration agents in fiscal
year 1995 contributed to the IHP not being fully staffed and adversely
affected INS’ attainment of the IHP goals. Although INS officials point out
that the immigration agent position has been a stepping-stone to higher
level positions within INS, we do not know the specific root causes for the
attrition rate.

Therefore, we recommend that the Commissioner identify the causes of
immigration agent attrition and take steps to ensure that staffing is
adequate to achieve IHP program goals.



Page 12                                                      GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                  Statement
                  Criminal Aliens: INS’ Efforts to Identify and
                  Remove Imprisoned Aliens Need to Be
                  Improved




                  Finally, our work has shown that INS top management did not provide
                  attention commensurate with the priority it assigned to the program. Top
                  management did not formally communicate to the district directors how
                  additional staff should be used in the IHP, did not ensure that specific
                  operational goals were established for each INS district director with IHP
                  responsibilities, and did not respond with specific corrective actions when
                  it became apparent that the program would not achieve its goals for fiscal
                  year 1996.

                  Therefore, we recommend that INS establish and effectively communicate
                  a clear policy on the role of special agents in the IHP and, using a workload
                  analysis model, set IHP goals for district directors with IHP responsibilities.
                  In addition, if it appears that IHP goals will not be met, INS should
                  document any actions taken to correct the problem.


                  On June 12, 1997 and July 11, 1997, we briefed the Executive Associate
Agency Comments   Commissioner (EAC) for Programs and other officials from INS’ Office of
                  Programs, General Counsel, Field Operations, Internal Audit, and
                  Congressional Relations, and they generally concurred with our findings,
                  conclusions, and recommendations. With regard to our recommendation
                  on identifying causes of immigration agent attrition, the EAC for Programs
                  noted that INS believes that immigration agent attrition is no longer as high
                  as it used to be. He added, however, that INS plans to undertake a broad
                  examination of the immigration agent position, including benefits,
                  flexibility, and vacancies.


                  Mr. Chairman, this completes my statement. I would be happy to answer
                  your questions at this time.




                  Page 13                                                        GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix I

Definition of “Alien” and “Criminal Alien”


                 An alien is any individual who is not a citizen of the United States,
Alien            regardless of whether the individual’s immigration status is legal or illegal.
                 Legal aliens include (1) immigrants who entered the country with valid
                 visas and were later granted resident status by the Immigration and
                 Naturalization Service (INS); and (2) nonimmigrants, such as students,
                 tourists, temporary workers, and business visitors who do not violate the
                 conditions of their visas. Illegal aliens include those who (1) enter the
                 country without visas or passports; (2) do not present themselves for
                 inspection by INS; (3) enter the country using fraudulent documents; and
                 (4) are nonimmigrants who have violated a condition of their visas, such
                 as remaining in the country beyond the period of time authorized.


                 Criminal aliens are noncitizens who have been convicted of a crime
Criminal Alien   committed in this country for which they could be removed from the
                 United States. At the time of our review, most aliens were placed in
                 deportation proceedings to effect their removal. Some aliens were placed
                 in exclusion proceedings because, from a legal standpoint, they were not
                 deemed to have actually entered the country. As an example of such a
                 situation, aliens may arrive at U.S. airports, declare their intent to seek
                 political asylum, and be temporarily allowed into the United States
                 pending a determination of their cases. Because such aliens were not
                 considered to have formally entered the United States, they would be
                 placed in exclusion rather than deportation proceedings if convicted of a
                 deportable offense before their asylum cases were resolved. We use
                 “deportation proceedings” or “deportation hearings” in this testimony to
                 refer to both deportation and exclusion proceedings. Under the Illegal
                 Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996,
                 deportation and exclusion proceedings are now referred to as removal
                 proceedings.




                 Page 14                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix II

Scope and Methodology


              We reviewed IHP plans and activities for BOP and the corrections systems of
              seven states—Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York,
              and Texas. We selected these states because, in March 1996, their
              corrections systems accounted for 86 percent of the total number of
              foreign-born inmates reported as incarcerated in state institutions. In
              addition, INS has targeted its additional resources for IHP initiatives to these
              seven states and BOP.

              We focused primarily on fiscal years 1995 and 1996, because during these
              years Congress provided additional resources for IHP operations, and INS
              initiated several measures to improve the IHP’s effectiveness in deporting
              criminal aliens. We concentrated on INS—as opposed to EOIR, which makes
              adjudicative decisions regarding deportability—because INS has the lead
              role in identifying incarcerated criminal aliens, determining their
              deportability, and initiating deportation proceedings.

              To assess the IHP’s performance, we analyzed INS documents and statistics
              on IHP performance goals, measures, and results to determine (1) how the
              IHP’s performance in deporting incarcerated criminal aliens changed
              during fiscal years 1995 and 1996 and (2) the extent to which INS was
              meeting its IHP goals.

              In addition, we sought to determine whether INS was screening the entire
              universe of foreign-born inmates identified by corrections personnel and
              the extent to which IHP-eligible inmates were placed into deportation
              proceedings, completed the IHP process, and were removed from the
              United States upon release from prison. To answer these questions, we
              obtained data from BOP and correctional institutions in seven states on all
              of the foreign-born inmates they released from April through September
              1995. The data from the April to September 1995 period are considered to
              be representative of the entire year. We did not determine the
              completeness of the lists of foreign-born inmates provided either to us or
              to INS. We asked INS to match these records against information in its
              Deportable Alien Control System (DACS) to identify those released
              foreign-born inmates who were taken into INS custody upon their release
              from prison, detained, or removed from the United States. Although we
              did not independently assess the reliability of DACS data in this review, we
              addressed questions to INS about what, if any, quality controls and
              procedures are used to ensure the reliability of those data elements that
              we used in this review. The data elements included whether the alien was
              (1) taken into custody, (2) issued a final deportation order, and
              (3) removed. INS personnel who operate and manage the DACS database



              Page 15                                                        GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix II
Scope and Methodology




responded that both the accuracy and completeness of these data
elements in DACS are good. They stated that supervisors perform random
checks on DACS data every time an officer submits a case for review.
Further, they reported that all of these data elements are entered into DACS
, although,

depending on the complexity of the case, there may be some lag time
between the occurrence of events and input of data into DACS. We also
asked EOIR to match the records against information in its Automated
Nationwide System for Immigration Review (ANSIR) to identify those
released foreign-born inmates who had been in deportation proceedings.
Again, although we did not independently assess the database’s reliability,
we addressed questions to EOIR about what, if any, quality controls and
procedures are used to ensure the reliability of those data elements that
we used in this review. The data elements included (1) whether the alien
was placed in deportation proceedings and (2) the outcome of the
proceedings. EOIR personnel who operate and manage the ANSIR database
responded that the accuracy and completeness of the data fields are
superior, with error rates being less than 1 percent. They stated that
reports to verify data accuracy are run daily, weekly, and monthly, and
EOIR staff are held to high performance standards with respect to data
integrity.

From these data matches, we determined for BOP and five states17 how
many of the foreign-born inmates were included in and completed the IHP
prior to prison release, how many completed deportation proceedings
after release, and how many had started but had not completed
proceedings at the time we completed our review. For those who were
issued a final order of deportation, we were able to determine how many
had been removed from the United States by January 1997. We selected
the April through September 1995 time frame because we wanted to follow
up on how many criminal aliens had completed deportation proceedings
and been removed from the United States. We did our followup
approximately 16 to 22 months after the aliens’ release from prison.

About 6,000 of the approximately 17,300 foreign-born released inmates
were not in either INS’ or EOIR’s database. We sought to determine the
extent to which this sizable unmatched group consisted of (1) cases that

17
  We dropped two additional states from our analysis, Illinois and New Jersey, because data obtained
from these states’ corrections departments could not be reliably matched with INS’ data. Without a
unique identifier, such as an A-number, that is common to both databases, we would have had to rely
on such information as names and birthdates, which are not a conclusive way of identifying
individuals.



Page 16                                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix II
Scope and Methodology




were screened for inclusion in the IHP and perhaps even processed through
the IHP but not entered into the appropriate databases; (2) foreign-born
U.S. citizens who are not eligible for the IHP; or (3) criminal aliens who
should have been, but were not, included in the IHP and were released
from prison without being taken into INS custody.

We took two steps to determine the composition of the group of nearly
6,000 unmatched cases. First, we selected a random sample of several
hundred of these cases from BOP and seven states and asked INS district
staff to review the original case files for each of these individuals. Our
purpose was to determine whether there was information in the files that
had not been entered in DACS. Second, we asked LESC—an INS unit that
conducts database searches for local law enforcement agencies to
determine whether arrested individuals are criminal aliens—to match the
nearly 6,000 records with information contained in 6 INS databases,18 the
FBI’s National Crime Information Center, and state criminal history
databases. The results enabled us to determine (1) how many individuals
were U.S. citizens and, therefore, ineligible for the IHP; (2) how many were
deportable criminal aliens who were released from prisons; and
(3) whether any identified criminal aliens had been convicted of
committing an aggravated felony.

To determine what actions INS took to improve the operations and
effectiveness of the IHP, we reviewed formal plans approved by the INS
Commissioner to streamline IHP operations in each of the seven key states
as well as in BOP. We examined documents pertaining to the roles of IHP
staff and the allocation of staff resources to the IHP. Additionally, we
reviewed INS planning documents pertaining to the removal of criminal
aliens and the IHP’s annual goals.

In addition, we interviewed key officials at INS and BOP headquarters and in
corrections departments and INS field locations in California, Florida, New
York, and Texas. We selected these four states for site visits because they
represented four of the five states where IHP enhancement efforts began,
and because they had the largest number of foreign-born inmates among
all state correctional facilities. Resource constraints precluded our visiting
all seven states. We interviewed INS and BOP officials at BOP’s Oakdale, LA,
and La Tuna, NM, federal correctional institutions and INS’ El Paso, TX,
district office. We chose the Oakdale facility because it was the first IHP

18
 The six databases searched by LESC were (1) the Central Index System (CIS), (2) the
Computer-linked Application Information Management System (CLAIMS), (3) the Deportable Alien
Control System (DACS), (4) the National Automated Immigration Lookout System II (NAILS II), (5) the
Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS), and (6) the Student and Schools System (STSC).



Page 17                                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                                       Appendix II
                                       Scope and Methodology




                                       site in a federal prison and because it was one of two sites staffed full-time
                                       by INS personnel and immigration judges. We chose the La Tuna facility
                                       because, in contrast to Oakdale, the facility has neither full-time INS staff
                                       nor immigration judges at the facility.

                                       To determine what factors have influenced the IHP’s performance and INS’
                                       implementation of IHP enhancement initiatives, we interviewed officials
                                       with INS, EOIR, and BOP; and officials in corrections departments in
                                       California, Florida, New York, and Texas. We discussed the overall status
                                       of IHP enhancement plans, including implementation barriers, with INS’
                                       General Counsel and district counsel officials and the national
                                       coordinators for the BOP and state IHPs. We also reviewed periodic reports
                                       and other documentation on the IHP’s performance that INS and BOP
                                       officials provided to us.

                                       Table II.1 shows the INS district that we visited to review BOP and state IHP
                                       activities and the districts’ regional office jurisdiction.

Table II.1: INS District Offices and
Regions GAO Visited Reviewing BOP                                                        IHP focus
and State IHP Activities                                                 La Tuna,   Oakdale,
                                       INS district office INS region   NM (BOP)    LA (BOP)   CA     FL     NY     TX
                                       El Paso             Central             X
                                       Houston             Central                                                      X
                                       Los Angeles         Western                               X
                                       Miami               Eastern                                      X
                                       New Orleans         Central                        X
                                       New York            Eastern                                            X
                                       San Diego           Western                               X
                                       San Francisco       Western                               X
                                       Legend: X - Visited by GAO.

                                       Source: GAO.



                                       In each of the INS districts listed in the table, we interviewed key officials
                                       involved in IHP processing to document IHP roles and procedures, changes
                                       brought about by IHP enhancement initiatives, obstacles to progress
                                       toward a more efficient IHP, and the program’s overall status. Our INS
                                       contacts included district directors, assistant district directors for
                                       investigations, assistant district directors for detention and deportation,
                                       IHP directors and coordinators, and district counsel staff. At EOIR, we




                                       Page 18                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix II
Scope and Methodology




interviewed immigration judges who conduct IHP hearings and court
administrators who schedule deportation proceedings. We also
interviewed BOP and state corrections system authorities to get their
perspectives on the IHP and efforts to improve the program’s performance.




Page 19                                                   GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix III

The IHP Process




                                                                                                                  A




                                     No


 State or BOP Personnel
 Identify Foreign-Born         Interviewed
 Individuals Entering Prison        by
 System and Notify INS             INS?

                                                 Found not
                                                 deportable          End

                                    Yes

                                                 Found deportable   INS serves alien      EOIR schedules
                                                 and INS lodges     with charging         IHP hearing
                                                 detainer           documents and files                           B
                                                                    with EOIR




                                             Page 20                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                             Appendix III
                             The IHP Process




                                                          Released at end
                                                          of sentence
A




                                                          Detained or released
    Hearing not                                           until hearing
    Completed before                                      completed and
    Release                                               removed if ordered
                                                          deported




B




                           Other conclusion     End




                           Granted relief        End
                           from Deportation
       Hearing Completed
       Before Release
                                                           Detained until
                             Deportation       Released    removal
                             order issued      to INS



                             Source: INS.




                             Page 21                                             GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix IV

Disposition of Potentially Deportable
Inmates Released From BOP and 5 States’
Prisons Over a 6-Month Period in Fiscal
Year 1995

                                        Potentially deportable cases (as
                           Location   indicated by INS/ EOIR data match)
                                                                   Number
              Arizona                                                  448
              California                                             5,113
              Florida                                                  368
              New York                                                 960
              Texas                                                    530
              BOP                                                    4,017
              Total                                                 11,436




              Page 22                                    GAO/T-GGD-97-154
                                          Appendix IV
                                          Disposition of Potentially Deportable
                                          Inmates Released From BOP and 5 States’
                                          Prisons Over a 6-Month Period in Fiscal
                                          Year 1995




    Hearings completed before prison release            Hearings completed after prison release
                           Potentially deportable                                 Deportable cases         No evidence that
                           cases completing the        Deportable cases          completing hearing          hearings were
 Potentially deportable    IHP with final order of    completing hearing       process with final order   completed before or
cases completing the IHP        deportation                process                 of deportation         after prison release
     Number      Percent     Number        Percent     Number       Percent         Number     Percent     Number       Percent
         230          51          213           48         191            43           144          32           27              6
       2,443          48        2,350           46        2,460           48          2,006         39          210              4
         264          72          224           61           94           26            63          17           10              3
         536          56          472           49         409            43           232          24           15              2
         111          21           99           19         326            62           294          55           93          18
       1,334          33        1,224           30        2,162           54          1,801         45          521          13
       4,918          43        4,582           40        5,642           49          4,540         40          876              8




                                          Page 23                                                             GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix V

Time From Release to Deportation for
Aliens Released From BOP and 5 States’
Prisonsa During the Last Half of Fiscal Year
1995 With Final Deportation Orders
  Time from release to                                               Hearings started in prison,        Hearings started and completed
      deportation        IHP completed in prison                      completed after release                 after prison release
                            Number                  Percent              Number            Percent              Number           Percent
<1 month                      3,088                        91               2,497                  68              132                    24
1 mo. to < 2 mos.               130                         4                 608                  17               53                    10
2 mos. to < 4 mos.               78                         2                 296                  8                56                    10
4 mos. to < 6 mos.               24                          *b               105                  3                46                     8
6 mos. to < 8 mos.               18                          *   b
                                                                               48                  1                36                     7
8 mos. to < 10 mos.              10                          *b                33                   *b              43                     8
10 mos. to < 12 mos.             14                          *   b
                                                                               31                   *   b
                                                                                                                    39                     7
12 mos. and over                 33                          *b                55                  1               145                    26
Total                         3,395c                     100                3,673c             100                 550c              100
                                       a
                                       The five states are Arizona, California, Florida, New York, and Texas.
                                       b
                                           Less than 1 percent.
                                       c
                                        Of criminal aliens released from prisons in 5 states and BOP from April through September 1995,
                                       4,582 had completed the IHP with a final deportation order (see app. IV); and 3,395 of them
                                       (74 percent) were deported by January 1997. Of 4,540 released criminal aliens who completed
                                       deportation proceedings after their release from prison, 4,223, or 93 percent, were deported by
                                       January 1997. Although INS has reported difficulty obtaining travel documents to some countries,
                                       we did not determine the specific reasons that aliens with final deportation orders were not
                                       removed quickly.




                                       Page 24                                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix VI

GAO Estimate of Avoidable Detention Costs


                                       Because most criminal aliens released from state and federal prisons in
                                       fiscal year 1995 had not completed the IHP, INS needed to detain them until
                                       their deportation hearings could be completed. This placed unnecessary
                                       demands on INS’ limited detention space, and, as shown below, cost INS
                                       nearly $63 million that could have been avoided.

Table VI.1 INS’ Detention Costs for
Criminal Aliens Who Did Not Complete                                                        Criminal aliens released to INS from
the IHP in Fiscal Year 1995                                                                prison without final deportation orders
                                                                                                         (N = 20,118)
                                                                                              Started before       Started after prison
                                       Hearing process                                        prison release                    release
                                       Estimated number of criminal aliens                             17,498                         2,620

                                       Average avoidable days in detentiona                                 26                         191
                                       Average daily detention cost                                    $65.75                     $65.75
                                       Fiscal year detention costb                               $29,912,831                $32,902,615
                                       Total avoidable fiscal year detention cost                          $62,815,446
                                       a
                                        Avoidable days = average number of days in detention beyond those spent by criminal aliens
                                       who had a final order when released.
                                       b
                                        Avoidable detention cost = number of aliens X average net days in detention X average daily
                                       detention cost.



                                       Our sample of 11,436 potentially deportable criminal aliens released from
                                       BOP and five states’ prisons during the second half of fiscal year 1995
                                       included 6,518 inmates who were released to INS without INS having
                                       completed their hearing process while they were in prison. Nationwide, INS
                                       reported that in all of 1995, a total of 20,118 such inmates were released
                                       into its custody. Of the 6,518 released inmates that GAO studied, 4,223
                                       inmates had received deportation orders and were deported by January of
                                       1997. We were able to determine for 4,223 of these released inmates both
                                       the average number of days detained by INS and whether the hearing
                                       process started before or after prison release. Of the 4,223 inmates,
                                       87 percent started deportation proceedings in prison, and they were held
                                       for an average of 41 days. The remaining 13 percent started deportation
                                       proceedings after prison release and were held for an average of 206 days.
                                       For the remaining 2,295 inmates in our study, we assumed that the timing
                                       of deportation proceedings and the average number of days in INS
                                       detention were similar. The 2,295 inmates included (1) 876 inmates for
                                       whom there was no evidence that the hearing process was completed;
                                       (2) 1,102 inmates for whom the hearing process was completed after
                                       release from prison and no deportation order was issued; and (3) 317



                                       Page 25                                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix VI
GAO Estimate of Avoidable Detention Costs




inmates for whom the hearing process was completed after release from
prison and a deportation order was issued. This provides the estimate that
for 87 percent, or 17,498, of the 20,118 released inmates, INS would have
begun their hearing process before release, and for the remaining 2,620
released inmates, INS would have begun their hearing process after release.

To determine the avoidable detention cost, we subtracted 15 days from
each of the observed detention times because this was the average
detention time for criminal aliens who completed the IHP with final
deportation orders. According to INS, the average daily cost to detain a
single alien was $65.75 in fiscal year 1995.

At least some of the savings in detention costs that INS could realize by
processing more criminal aliens through the IHP would be offset by any
additional funding that might be required to provide additional resources
for the IHP.




Page 26                                                    GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix VII

INS Failed to Identify Many Deportable
Criminal Aliens, Including Aggravated
Felons


Foreign-born inmates released from prison
      Apr.-Sept. 1995 (n = 17,320)                        Was the IHP completed prior to prison release?

                                                                               IHP was not
                                                             57%               completed
                        66%                                                    (6,518)
                                                                     43%       IHP was
                                                                               completed
                                                                               (4,918)




                         34%




          Identified as deported, in proceedings,
          or in INS custody (n = 11,436)
          Not known (n = 5,884)
                                           Source: INS.




                                           Page 27                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-154
Appendix VIII

IHP Was Not Completed for Most Released
Criminal Aliens


                                                           Foreign-born inmates released from prison
                                                                 Apr.-Sept. 1995 (n = 17,320)




                                                                      66%
           Were they potentially deportable aliens?

        Criminal aliens,
             including
      aggravated felons


                                           32%                       34%
                                    68%

        Other (deported
     aliens, immigration
  status not known, and
          U.S. citizens)                                           Identified as deported, in proceedings,
                                                                   or in INS custody (n = 11,436)
                                                                   Not known (n = 5,884)

                                            Source: INS.




(183602)                                    Page 28                                                     GAO/T-GGD-97-154
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