Our review focused on the INS's escort policy in removing violent criminal aliens on regularly scheduled international commercial flights from the United States to non-border countries. The review was conducted from November 2000 through January 2001.
We assessed the escort process at four INS districts: Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; and New York, New York. We selected removal cases using alien criminal history information contained in the INS's Deportable Alien Control System, an automated tracking system. We selected cases based on the seriousness of the crime(s) associated with an alien and included various alien nationalities. Crimes committed by the aliens encompass violent behavior such as homicide, sexual assault, aggravated assault, rape, and sexual offense against a child. The cases we reviewed listed countries of deportation located in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Antigua), Central and South America (Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru) Europe (Poland, Italy, United Kingdom), Africa (Kenya, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria), and Asia (Korea, China, India).
Using the selected cases and a limited number of other cases brought to our attention during the review, we examined a total of 158 cases. The aliens deported in these cases should have been escorted based on the INS escort standard Group 3 category. Deportation of the criminal aliens we reviewed occurred from October 1998 through November 2000. These 158 cases comprise five percent of the 3,067 deportation cases in the four districts. The number of cases reviewed for each district was Baltimore - 27 cases, Chicago - 51 cases, Atlanta - 40 cases, and New York - 40 cases.
We reviewed illegal alien A-files, travel records, and conducted discussions with staff familiar with specific cases. The four districts provided various forms (G-250: Travel Request Authorization, I-205: Warrant of Removal/Deportation) and supporting documents for INS escorts to foreign countries. Some case files were unavailable because they were no longer in the INS district office. When case files were unavailable, we used supporting documents such as travel agency itineraries or airline ticket receipts to verify escorts of criminal aliens.
We interviewed INS field and headquarters detention and removal staff to assess their views on the INS escort standard including its effectiveness, the degree of compliance, and the need for any INS policy revisions. The field interviews included supervisors who approved escort assignments and staff who typically performed escort duty.
We met with DOS officials who coordinate activities for the INS relating to the escort process. We discussed the coordination between the INS and the DOS for escorting Group 3 aliens to foreign countries. We contacted INS headquarters officials, commercial airlines, the FAA, the FBI, and trade associations to evaluate the extent of serious incidents involving Group 3 aliens deported on commercial flights.