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Chapter 4 continued page 2 [of 3]


National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP)- The Absconder Apprehension Initiative (AAI) announced the Deputy Attorney General's directive of January 25, 2002, indicated that there is a significant backlog of unexecuted final orders of removal. The NFOP will target this backlog by facilitating the apprehension and subsequent removal of those fugitives. The goal over the next ten years will be to eliminate this backlog and to ensure that our efforts in terms of apprehension and removal of fugitive cases equals the number of new cases falling into this category.


1.1.3: Manage an enhanced Institutional Removal Program with other custodial agencies (e.g., state early release program for deportation) after completing an effective and proper transition from the Investigations program.


Institutional Removal Program (IRP) Transition- The purpose of the IRP is to ensure that aliens convicted of crimes in the U.S. are deported directly from correctional institutions, precluding their release into the community. To improve the efficiency of the IRP, the mission will be transferred from the ICE Investigations Program to DRO. This transfer will result in more efficient processing and better continuity in case management. These efficiencies will permit more aliens to be processed while incarcerated, thereby reducing the potential demand for ICE detention space. Overall, improved effectiveness  of the IRP will increase the public safety, reduce the potential for future crimes, and enhance the welfare of our society.


Criminal Alien Removals-IEA Reclassification- The transition of the IRP Program into DRO will include the transfer of approximately 301 Immigration Agent (IA) positions from Investigations and will combine them with the existing DRO Detention Enforcement Officer (DEO) force. These two positions will be merged into one Immigration Enforcement Agent (IEA) to make the duties and responsibilities of these officers more appropriate to the work that they must complete. Creation of the IEA will make this entry-level position a true foundation for an officer's career development. This will afford those who are interested the opportunity to apply for any of the senior officer positions and continue their career growth within ICE. It will also allow a more seamless transition, and ultimately successful management, of the IRP.


1.1.4: Build partnerships with all stakeholders to facilitate the removal process.


(1.2) Objective Two: Support ICE efforts to deter illegal migration.


1.2.1: Build partnerships, and report on success as well as failures, with the DOJ and/or U.S. Attorney's Office to enforce an effective and deterrent prosecutorial program through the enforcement of existing INA statutes and sentencing and to expedite the removal process.


Coordinate the development and implementation of fines and penalties to create deterrence to violation of INA and U.S. immigration laws and proceedings.


Establish and enforce a national prosecutorial program with respect to DRO-related offenses (e.g., re-entries after deportation).


Propose legislation for "automatic sentencing" in all criminal conviction cases (federal and state) involving aliens present in the U.S. in violation of the INA; that will put the re-entry violator behind bars without the need for additional prosecution if removed originally as a result of a criminal conviction.


1.2.2: Acquire, deploy, and use current and future technologies such as retina, DNA, and/or fingerprint samplings to positively identify aliens currently and previously involved in the removal process.


DRO Goal Two-Custody Management: Provide for the safe, secure and humane confinement of persons detained In accordance with immigration law.


Processes within the custody management function serve as critical tools to effect removals. Custody management methods and procedures are extremely visible and highly scrutinized, and must reflect and support changes in immigration enforcement policy. Immigration and removal policy over the years has generated a greater and more diverse population of aliens that need to be detained and removed. Therefore, detention strategies and resources must be enhanced along with other programs and initiatives to ensure they are properly supported and can be accomplished. In support of its vigorous removal strategies, DRO must implement the following initiatives to bolster detention operations to a successful level.


(2.1) Objective One: Provide safe, secure and humane detention facilities and methods. (Methods are defined, for example, as the nature and extent of the restraints, depending on the characteristics of the detainee).


2.1.1: Ensure facilities comply with recognized building and safety codes as well as national detention standards.


Detention Standards-Quality Assurance/Compliance-Through this initiative, ICE will continue to inspect Service Processing Centers (SPCs), contract facilities and jails, and place an on-site officer at larger contract and inter-governmental service agreement sites as a liaison to aid in addressing daily detainee issues. This initiative will also allow ICE to conduct three reviewer-training classes (50 per class) and establish a contract for assistance in conducting quality assurance reviews. ICE will also review SPC Emergency Plans, develop and implement a standard for Facility Emergency and Disturbance Control Plans, and amend, develop and implement Detention Standards as indicated by the quality assurance reviews.


Detention Facility Staffing- This initiative will improve the staff-to-workload ratio to enhance the rate of removals. It will also improve the ratio of DRO to contract officers to enable improved efficiency and security through increased flexibility in staff utilization.


Chaplaincy- In accordance with prescribed detention standards, DRO will place a chaplain in each of its Service Processing  Centers (SPCs). This will ensure that detainees of different faiths are provided reasonable and equitable opportunities to pursue their respective religious practices.


Health Care- ICE will expand the health care delivery system to fit current and future needs in the most cost-effective way. This includes increasing the services currently provided by the Public Health Service (PHS). It also includes an overall upgrade of the Immigration Health Information System (IHIS), involving the creation of an electronic surveillance system for communicable diseases that will help to control costs and significantly increase administrative efficiency. This initiative will allow ICE to maintain appropriate staff levels to provide the health care needed by detainees. It will especially enhance the movement of detainees to the most optimal site based on their health conditions, and will clear them for removal more quickly.


2.1.2: Ensure detainees are properly classified for risk and placed accordingly.


2.1.3: Ensure officers have the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to enforce compliance with detention standards and guidelines.


(2.2) Objective Two: Optimize detention space/system. (This objective will be accomplished in concert with other federal detention agencies as the DHS and other government entities are organized.)


2.2.1: Ensure sufficient and appropriate bed space is available based on detention category, characteristics and conditions of release.


2.2.2: enhance partnerships with other federal detention agencies for better use of their resources to include facilities and training.


2.2.3: Develop a National Custody Management Plan promoting the effective utilization of available bed space and alternative detention settings.


In response to its fiscal stakeholders, DRO will develop a national custody management plan to ensure that facility use is standard throughout the country and that bed space used is optimized for cost efficiency. Additionally, bed space use will be integrated with the optimization of transportation procedures in support of the overall removal effort. DRO's partnering program will be expanded to this arena to ensure that detention needs are satisfied where and when they are needed, in an appropriate and civil manner.


Released Alien Monitoring- Non-Detained Docket Management-To create and implement cost-effective programs for custody and release that enable the ICE to better utilize its bed space, resources, and manpower while maintaining compliance with immigration law, DRO will expand its alternatives to detention program. This program currently includes non-traditional detention facilities such as halfway houses and family shelters. DRO will also pursue the deployment of an "intensive supervision program" for both criminal and non-criminal aliens. Findings of an accomplished pilot project reveal that there are effective options to "traditional" detention methods. Detention bed space made available by eligible detainees selected to participate in "alternatives to detention" will be back-filled with incoming detainees. Through this initiative, DRO expects to increase the rate of appearance by ten points each year until reaching 100 percent appearance.


2.2.4: Develop transportation and logistics systems to optimize the efficient use of bed space and support removal operations.


National Fleet System- A comprehensive National Transportation Plan will be developed to maximize use of DRO's limited air and ground resources while ensuring efficiency. A National Strategy will consider all needs and propose a plan for coordinated ground and air movements on a nationwide basis, thus saving money and staff resources. The plan will also suggest methods and procedures to maintain a ready transportation fleet that is both safe and secure.


(2.3) Objective Three: Provide alternative detention settings and methods. (This objective will be accomplished in concert with other federal detention agencies as the DHS and other government entities are reorganized.)


2.3.1: Develop and implement an effective monitoring program for aliens released on supervision, recognizance or bond using a variety of methods, including technology.


2.3.2: Explore options to establish, as appropriate, non-traditional detention settings for asylees and non-violent aliens.


Soft Detention- This initiative will provide softer but still safe, secure, and humane detention for adult asylum seekers and family groups. The Ice detained population has grown in both numbers and diversity in recent years and the method for detaining that population must also change. For example, under current conditions, family groups are often held in hotels because there are not adequate facilities available to house both adults and juveniles together. Also, many asylum-seekers would be more appropriately placed in a setting for non-criminals who pose very little risk of flight or danger to the community.


DRO Goal Three- Non-Detained Docket: Provide effective control of persons released into the community during immigration proceedings or while awaiting removal.


(3.1) Objective One: Ensure that released individuals comply with the conditions of their release.


3.1.1: Develop an effective non-detained case management program that:


1. Utilizes a variety of methods and available technology;


2. Implements uniform reporting procedures for all released aliens appropriate to their risk and released status;


3. Enforces the appropriate consequences for those in violation of the conditions of their release; and


4. Eliminates the backlog of unexecuted final orders of removal.


3.1.2: Explore options to establish, as appropriate, non-traditional detention settings such as halfway houses or work release centers for non-removable low risk criminal aliens.


Alternatives to Detention- DRO's custody management will not be limited to routine detention. DRO will support several Attorney General mandates with alternatives to detention and alternative settings. DRO staff is working with other offices within the DOJ to develop methods to monitor and manage individuals who do not pose a threat to society and do not need to be detained. By releasing this type of individual, bed space is liberated for those individuals demanding controlled detention. These released (non-detained) individuals, however, must be managed to ensure their compliance with release guidelines.