RI, federal agency in deal on immigrant prisoners

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island's prison system has entered an agreement with federal immigration authorities that would allow for the early release of illegal immigrants imprisoned for nonviolent offenses if they agree to be deported.

Gov. Don Carcieri announced the agreement Tuesday between the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Under the deal, illegal immigrants in state custody could get an early release if they have been ordered to leave the U.S. and agree not to return. Ex-prisoners who return to the U.S. illegally could be forced to serve the remainder of their state sentence and could face new federal charges.

It was not immediately clear when the new measures would take effect.

The deal comes after Carcieri issued an executive order in March forcing state police and prison officials to identify illegal immigrations for potential deportation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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