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Federal Officials Urge Undocumented Immigrants to Deport Themselves

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Starting next week federal officials will help illegal immigrants in San Diego and four other cities deport themselves. The program is federal officials' newest strategy to get a handle on illegal immigration. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Under the pilot program, illegal immigrant who've ignored deportation orders can surrender to federal officials.

In exchange, federal officials say they'll give people 90 days to get their affairs in order before they're forced to leave.

Lauren Mack is with Immigration and Customs Enforcement . She says the incentive is people can avoid getting arrested without warning.

Lauren Mack: To avoid having ICE go to their home when their families and children are present. To give them a chance to arrange for their families and everyone to depart together, if they so desire. To let them schedule their departure date.

Mack says people who surrender may have to report to federal agents periodically during the process or wear an electronic monitoring device.

Critics say federal officials are delusional for thinking anyone will participate. They says there's no benefit.

About 550,000 illegal immigrants in the US have ignored deportation orders.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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