Associated Press Omits the Major Aspect of "Early Release"

The article below demonstrates yet another example of Associated Press (AP) bias.  How can our country resolve the contentious immigration debate when the print media so miserably fails to publish accurate information?  Media bias with immigration is a pervasive problem and citizens are urged to use alternative methods such as the Internet in the quest for truth.

An Arizona bill to deport criminal aliens prior to the completion of their term has resulted in welcomed cost savings to a state hammered by the staggering costs of illegal immigration. 

In the AP article below early release, the main aspect of the bill, was conveniently omitted.  Not once did the AP state that criminal aliens would have an "early release." Early release was only eluded to with the quotation: "'It's not an ideal choice, if revenue was there, I'd say have them do their time," Vail said."

The referenced Arizona law is indeed based upon early release per

"Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says early release is a bad idea."

The cost savings are beneficial but is favoritism toward criminal aliens with early release justice served?  Is it fair to give a 'Get Out of Jail' card to criminal aliens who would likely quickly return across our unsecured border while criminal citizens would have to compete their full sentence?  The proper solution is to automatically deport all criminal aliens after serving their full term. The cost savings would be far greater and justice far fairer. 

Florida papers in 2007-2008 promoted a similar bill which did not pass the Florida Legislature. The bill will be re-introduced again this year. (Expired link)

Washington Mulls Deporting Jailed Illegal Aliens

Published: December 31, 2008
Filed at 6:42 a.m. ET

SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire wants illegal immigrants serving time in state jails deported, a move intended to save the state more than $9 million in the next two-year budget.

The deportation proposal is modeled after a program in Arizona that has saved the state more than $18.5 million since 2005, said Eldon Vail, Secretary of the state Department of Corrections.

''It's not an ideal choice, if revenue was there, I'd say have them do their time,'' Vail said. ''Is justice better served? It's a tough question to wrestle with when you don't have resources.''

The state faces a $5.7 billion budget deficit over the next 2 1/2 years, and Gregoire has proposed a no new-taxes budget proposal laden with cuts, including about $200 million from the Department of Corrections, the Attorney General's office, and other public safety programs.

The deportation proposal would call for the state to come to an agreement with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which would carry out the deportations. Those eligible for deportation include aliens serving time in state jails for drug or property crime convictions.

In Washington state, there are about 350 prisoners who would be eligible to be transferred to federal authorities. On average, it costs the state $90 a day to imprison an inmate, Vail said.

Gregoire's proposal represents a policy shift toward illegal immigrants from a state that had largely stayed away from immigration enforcement. Washington state, with its large agricultural industry, attracts a large number of undocumented workers, mostly from Mexico.

State Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, who chairs the Ways and Means committee, said she will oppose the measure. The veteran lawmaker is also worried other programs that provide humanitarian aid to illegal immigrant women and their children may be proposed to be cut.

''Immigrants are a vulnerable group politically, that face the brunt of difficult budget situations,'' Baron said. ''I understand this is to preserve state resources, but we're often talking about people's lives.''

Washington would join Arizona and New York in having similar programs. Between 1995 and 2007, New York has saved an estimated $141 million by releasing more than 1,950 illegal immigrant inmates to federal hands, according to the New York State Department of Correctional Services.

''We've looked at a lot of ideas we wouldn't normally pursue. This is one where it's been done successfully,'' Vail said.

Currently in Washington, immigration agents can comb local jails for illegal aliens. Once federal agents identify an illegal alien in jail, a hold is placed on the person, and the federal government waits for the local sentence to be served before deportation procedures begin.

In Arizona, a joint agreement between ICE and the state to increase the deportation of illegal immigrants is considered a success by officials.

''The benefit to the state of Arizona is obviously -- bed space,'' said Vincent Picard, ICE spokesman in Phoenix. ''It's an opportunity for us to share resources and operate more efficiently.''