Tuesday, February 19, 2008
U.S. Senator Arlen Specter was in town to tour the Allegheny County Jail Sentenced Housing Unit. After the tour he held a discussion regarding identifying criminal undocumented immigrants. He said the system is broken because of how hard it is to deport the illegal alien. Specter said part of the problem in deporting the illegal immigrants is their home country does not want to take them back. As a proposed solution to that problem Specter referenced a bill that he supports that would halt visas or government aid to countries that refuse to take their citizens back. He spoke today with some illegal immigrants who are currently held in the Allegheny County Jail. Specter said one of the inmates, an illegal mexican who was there because of a DUI charge, would gladly accept deportation over his sentence. While another inmate who is Syrian in jail on a burgalry charge would rather stay in the country. Specter said the problems encountered in identifying illegal immigrants in jail and having them deported is a part of the larger issue of immigration and hasn't been addressed because there has not been a comprehensive immigration bill.