HARTFORD, Conn. — Federal agents in Connecticut have begun arresting all illegal immigrants as soon as they are ordered deported, rather than allowing them to remain free while they appeal.
The policy shift is a Department of Homeland Security pilot program intended to reduce the number of illegal immigrants who flee after being ordered out of the country, but some immigration lawyers contend that the change will have the opposite effect.
There currently are 400,000 active cases in the United States involving illegal immigrants who fled after deportation orders were issued, said Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Nineteen immigrants to Connecticut have been detained since the pilot program began in early August, Bentley said.
Officials plan to analyze the results and consider implementing it nationwide after the end of the program, scheduled for Sept. 30.