Among ICE’s responsibilities is the identification and removal of criminal aliens from the United States. The ICE Rapid REPAT (Removal of Eligible Parolees Accepted for Transfer) program is designed to expedite that process by allowing selected criminal aliens incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails to accept early release in exchange for voluntarily returning to their country of origin.


In November 2007, ICE began meeting with state executive agencies to discuss the concept of ICE Rapid REPAT as part of the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) initiative. The concept, implemented in Georgia and Rhode Island, is modeled after two programs in the states of New York and Arizona that capitalize on ICE’s ability to more effectively identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens from the United States while still preserving the integrity of the criminal justice system. ICE field offices recently began to reach out to state agencies to present ICE ACCESS partnership opportunities, including ICE Rapid REPAT, where appropriate.

Key Elements

  • In states where Rapid REPAT is implemented, certain aliens who are incarcerated in state prison and who have been convicted of non-violent offenses may receive early conditional release if they have a final order of removal and agree not to return to the United States.
  • Eligible aliens agree to waive appeal rights associated with their state conviction(s) and must have final removal orders.
  • If aliens re-enter the United States, state statutes must provide for revocation of parole and confinement for the remainder of the alien’s original sentence. Additionally, aliens may be prosecuted under federal statutes that provide for up to 20 years in prison for illegally reentering the United States.


ICE Rapid REPAT is another law enforcement tool that ensures that all criminal aliens serving a time in prison are identified and processed for removal prior to their release. The identification and processing of incarcerated criminal aliens prior to release reduces the burden on the taxpayer and ensures that criminal aliens are promptly removed from the U.S. upon completion of their criminal sentence. This program allows ICE to more effectively identify and quickly remove criminal aliens from the United States. ICE Rapid REPAT also allows ICE and participating states to reduce costs associated with detention space.