Feb 24, 2016 6:57 PM by News Staff
WASHINGTON (AP) - Immigration authorities will now get priority over inmates wanted for deportation who are released from federal prison instead of local law enforcement agencies, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday.
The federal Bureau of Prisons will first give Immigration and Customs Enforcement the option to take inmates facing deportation into custody. Local law enforcement agencies seeking to prosecute those inmates on other crimes will need to ensure they will return them to immigration authorities once their criminal cases have ended, she said.
"This may have the effect that there may be local cases that may not be able to be prosecuted because, again, the person will be taken into ICE custody and then deported," Lynch told a House Appropriations subcommittee. "And if a jurisdiction has a concern over that, we will talk to them. But we would have to have assurances that ICE would also then be able to get the individual back."
Her comments come less than a year after a 32-year-old woman was shot to death on a San Francisco pier allegedly by a man who was transferred from federal prison to San Francisco authorities and released instead of being deported for a sixth time.
It was not immediately clear when the change went into effect.
Messages were left seeking comment from ICE.
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