The Department of Justice confirmed on Friday that immigration judges will be reassigned to 12 cities, in an effort to improve the deportation process of illegal aliens.
The DOJ is still working out the reassignment plans and has also called for volunteers among immigration judges before moving forward.
According to Reuters, New York; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; El Paso, Texas; Harlingen, Texas; San Francisco; Baltimore, Bloomington, Minnesota; Imperial, California; Omaha, Nebraska and Phoenix, Arizona.
Officials say that these cities have been chosen because they each contain a high number of illegal immigrants with criminal charges.
Illegal immigrants with pending criminal cases were made top priority for deportation in January due to President Trump’s executive order.
The Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review shows that the cities being targeted by the immigration judges have more than half of the criminal cases that involve illegal immigrants.
The Justice Department will also be sending immigration judges along the southwest border to visit detention centers. Their temporary placement begins today.
Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals Paul Schmidt seems to think that even illegal immigrants, who are also serious criminals, wouldn’t necessarily be deported.
“It seems they have an assumption that everyone who has committed a crime should be removable, but that’s not necessarily true. Even people who have committed serious crimes can sometimes get asylum,” Schmidt said.
According to DHS, Texas alone has booked over 215,000 criminal immigrants into its local jails between 2011 and 2017.
Those immigrants had committed more than 566,000 criminal offenses including 1,162 homicide charges; 68,151 assault charges; 68,102 drug charges and 6,098 sexual assault charges. Of those 215,000 over 143,000 (66%) were identified by DHS as being in the country illegally.