The top U.S. immigration enforcement official says federal agents expect to deport more than 200,000 immigrants this year who are in prisons across the country.
The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Julie Myers, made the remark in an interview published Tuesday in The New York Times newspaper.
She says the agency filed formal immigration charges in 2007 against 164,000 immigrants convicted of crimes in the United States, compared to 64,000 cases in 2006.
Myers says the move to speed the deportation of foreign-born criminals is aimed at helping U.S. prisons reduce the costs of housing immigrants. She says imprisoned foreigners include immigrants who were legal residents but lost their legal status after their convictions.
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.