Money for Nothing

Eddy Zheng got a 7-years-to-life prison sentence, served 19 years, and now faces deportation – a case study in our wasteful approach to punishing immigrants

by Momo Chang, San Francisco Bay Guardian


California has spent an estimated half a million dollars imprisoning and rehabilitating Xiao Fei “Eddy” Zheng, presumably with the goal of his successful reentry into society. And now that he’s finally been paroled, the government wants to deport him to China, a country he barely knows anymore.

Zheng is like the 45,000 other noncitizen inmates each year who are released from prison only to be passed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Yet unlike many others, he has a good lawyer and numerous Bay Area supporters who are challenging the almost automatic practice of deporting noncitizens – including legal residents like Zheng – who have committed crimes.

( read full article online here )

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