An Orange County judge who went to Washington to push early deportation of illegal aliens who commit serious crimes met Friday with federal drug czar William J. Bennett to promote the plan.
Superior Court Judge David O. Carter, who testified before a congressional subcommittee earlier in the week, said Bennett promised to examine his plan. The proposal calls for immigration authorities to work in state courtrooms to check the resident status of people convicted of serious crimes.
Bennett "was attentive," Carter said shortly before he flew home to Orange County. "It wasn't a conversation of niceties." The judge said he met with Bennett for about 15 minutes, followed by a session with members of Bennett's staff for another 45 minutes.
Carter wants the federal government to deny anti-drug funds to those states that do not require cooperation between state court officials and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
An aide to Bennett said it was too early to assess Bennett's reaction to the Carter proposal.
At a hearing Wednesday before the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, Carter complained that Bennett had ignored his requests for a face-to-face meeting. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), a subcommittee member, intervened with Bennett's staff to set up the Friday appointment, Carter said.
"I'm going back (to California) with a real feeling of progress," the judge added.