OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington lawmakers approved a bill to place illegal immigrants convicted of non-violent offenses in federal custody so they could be swiftly deported.
The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jeannie Darneille of Tacoma is aimed at saving the state money. It would send convicts who are found to be in the country illegally directly to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Co-sponsor Ross Hunter argued that illegal immigrants who are sent to prison are eventually deported no matter what the state does. The Medina Democrat says the state saves money by deporting them before putting them in prison.
Illegal immigrants convicted of crimes against persons will serve their sentence in the state before being deported.
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Opponents argued the bill might lead to legal immigrants being deported without due process.