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For Immediate Release

February 2, 2010

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

First Illegal Immigrants Sentenced to the New Hampshire State Prison Transferred to Immigration, Customs and Enforcement as Part of New Agreement

(Concord, NH) New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn announced that nine inmates who were serving sentences in the New Hampshire State Prison were transferred to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement (ICE) Agency to be deported to their homelands. They were conveyed to ICE agents on February 2, 2010.

These are the first inmates who qualified for conditional early release and deportation through a new agreement between the state and ICE under the Rapid REPAT Program. The Rapid REPAT (Removal of Eligible Parolees Accepted for Transfer) agreement is one part of ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security), the umbrella of services that provide local law enforcement agencies opportunities to team with ICE to combat specific public safety challenges.

Under Rapid REPAT, certain aliens who are incarcerated in state prisons and who have been convicted of non-violent offenses may receive early conditional release if they have a final order of removal and agree not to return to the U.S. Only aliens convicted of non-violent offenses are eligible for the program and they must cooperate fully throughout the removal process. If an alien re-enters the U.S. after being removed under this program, state statutes may provide for revocation of parole and confinement for the remainder of the alien’s original sentence. Additionally, they may be prosecuted under federal statutes that provide for up to 20 years in prison for illegally reentering the United States.

“Rapid REPAT is a positive program that decreases the prison population and reduces corrections costs,” Commissioner Wrenn said.

“This is a way to expeditiously return them to their country of origin. We anticipate as many as fifty inmates could qualify for this program,” Commissioner Wrenn added.

“Today’s transfer of eligible parolees to ICE in New Hampshire represents a significant step forward in removing criminal aliens from the country,” said Bruce Chadbourne, Field Office director for ICE’s Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Boston. “ICE anticipates working closely and cooperatively with the New Hampshire Department of Corrections throughout the process.”

Of the nine offenders, eight are citizens of the Dominican Republic, and one is a citizen of Mexico. All were serving sentences for drug-related offenses.

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