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National Immigration Forum holds magnifying glass up to Enforcement Programs

February 15, 2011

via Brittney Nystrom, National Immigration Forum:

Focused, Smart Enforcement Could Save Taxpayer Billions

The National Immigration Forum has released an immigration enforcement review titled Immigration Enforcement Fiscal Review: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

The review holds a magnifying glass up to wasteful government spending on immigration enforcement programs and provides recommendations for cost-savings measures and improvements to DHS programs. Billions could be saved if government agencies better used the resources they’ve already been allocated, if Congress terminated wasteful or duplicative programs, refocused our enforcement priorities on real threats, or were not bogged down in the apprehension, detention, and removal of immigrants who have become an essential part of our workforce.  For example, DHS spends $23,000 to deport a single immigrant. In 2010, our Government deported 197,000 immigrants with no criminal record. At $23,000 per removal, taxpayers are shelling out more than $4.5 billion per year to remove immigrants who would otherwise be law-abiding taxpayers themselves if allowed to stay.

The review makes several key recommendations, including:

  • Prioritize funding for ports of entry to intercept illegal activity and support commerce trade and tourism
  • Adhere to the Obama Administration’s stated priorities of focusing immigration enforcement on threats to public safety
  • Justify additional proposed enforcement spending by demonstrating its added value and effectiveness
  • Increase funding for the immigration justice system to keep pace with the massively and backlogged caseload

The Immigration Enforcement Fiscal Review is available on the Forum’s website here: http://immigrationforum.org/images/uploads/2011/ImmigrationEnforcementOverview.pdf

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