"Cover Story" piece on the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibili


Connie Pacillo


Casco Bay Weekly




10-11, 13, 1


"Cover Story" piece on the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which gave the U.S. Department of Justice's Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) greater powers to deport any noncitizen convicted of a crime that met its newly expanded definition of an aggravated felony. While major crimes, such as rape and murder, had always been deportable offenses, the new law added such relatively minor infractions as a third drunk-driving conviction, some types of shoplifting and first-time domestic assaults. In most cases, it takes about 10 days for the INS to deport someone to a European country that has strong diplomatic ties with the U.S. But for detainees going to countries that are extremely poor, ravaged by civil war, or that don't have citizenship records of the offender or don't have diplomatic relations with the U.S., it can literally take a lifetime. According to Amnesty International's Human Rights Watch report, the INS has about 15,000 deportation detainees in custody nationwide. With special focus on Sydney Bradshaw, a native of Guyana who has been locked up in the Cumberland County Jail in Portland awaiting deportation since 1999, and Phuong San, formerly of Portland, a native of Vietnam who is being held at the INS detention center in Oakdale, Louisiana.


Deportation, Immigrants