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Will Illegal Immigants Volunteer To Leave?
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Will Illegal Immigants Volunteer To Leave?

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Now for the perspective from ICE. Raymond Simonse is the field director for Detentions and Removal in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte is another of the five cities participating in the three-week pilot. And, Mr. Simonse, what do you say to Jim Hoyt, who just said this is basically just a PR stunt, and that it's next to worthless?

Mr. RAYMOND SIMONSE (Field Director, Detentions and Removal, ICE, Charlotte, North Carolina): You know, I'd say that, when we've made apprehensions in the past, as part of the fugitive program, and some individuals we encounter advise us that, you know, had they known that we were looking for them, they would have turned themselves in. We have attorneys that will tell us the same things.

You know, this offers individuals who've been ordered from the United States - removed from the United States, who have failed to actually leave after receiving an order of removal or deportation, to go ahead and turn themselves in so that our fugitive teams don't have to go to their homes. You know, there's a humane aspect here.

BRAND: So you want to keep the families together, is what you're trying to say?

Mr. SIMONSE: We'd like to avoid having to arrest a parent in front of their children, if at all possible. If someone's been ordered removed from the United States, and they've failed to leave the country in violation of the law, then there certainly should be an expectation that law enforcement may enforce that order at some point in time.

This provides them an opportunity to surrender themselves, to cooperate with immigration in the process of scheduling their removal, so that they don't have to spend time in a detention facility for a month or two, depending on the individual case and the nationality of the individual involved, while we obtain a travel document.

They can work with us from their homes to obtain the travel documents, to work on the flight reservations, so they can leave at a time of their convenience. So they can close out their bank accounts and do other things that they may not necessarily have an opportunity to do if we arrest them in their residence and then have to detain them because they've proven themselves to be a flight risk.

BRAND: Raymond Simonse is field director for Detentions and Removal in Charlotte, North Carolina. Raymond Simonse, thank you for joining us.

Mr. SIMONSE: Thank you.

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