Illegal immigrants taxing legal system
Feb 27,2008 00:00 by UPI
WASHINGTON -- U.S. immigration officials said they doubled the number of deportation proceedings as enforcement increases in the nation's courts, The Washington Post said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are combing through court cases, criminal records, jails and courtrooms to identify immigrants eligible for deportation following age-old accusations that the matter went largely ignored.

ICE's Criminal Alien Program joined forces with local agents and thousands of detention facilities and police departments across the nation are sending their officers to ICE training programs.

Authorities involved in immigration law told the Post that, as a result, the legal community is overwhelmed with very minor offenses as illegal immigration becomes a matter of anxiety in the United States.

"Cities are overwhelmed with the consequences and costs of illegal immigration," one judge said. "It's a concerted effort to get rid of them, get them out of their community."

Denise Slavin, the vice president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, said the system is suffering as enforcement initiatives aren't on par with financial support.

"It's been a big burden on our system," Slavin told the Post. "We're dealing with more complex cases and fewer resources."

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