Americans on the Hook for $18 Billion, a “Mindless Waste of Taxpayer Money”
This week, congressional negotiators agreed on the details of an omnibus spending bill to fund federal agencies through the end of the fiscal year.
In absence of broader immigration reform, the immigration-related details amount to an endorsement of the enforcement-only status quo. The overall budget calls for some $18 billion in immigration enforcement, and it includes the 34,000 detention bed mandate that is based on private prison industry lobbying rather than any real analysis of priorities and need.
As the Washington Post described, “With the Obama administration still deporting thousands of illegal immigrants on a daily basis, there’s $2.8 billion for detention programs operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That funding helps to pay for 34,000 beds for detainees, ‘the highest detention capacity in history,’ according to the House Appropriations Committee.” The spending bill also includes additional funding for E-Verify and billions of dollars for border security.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Congress remains on autopilot regarding its deportation and budgetary machinery. Spending $18 billion dollars to enforce a fundamentally broken set of immigration rules is a mindless waste of taxpayer money. For decades Congress has relied solely on enforcement-only approaches, and the result is a system so dysfunctional and cruel that it is in desperate need of reform. It’s time for Congress to do its job and reform the immigration system, and it’s time for President Obama to use his executive authority to roll back the record deportations.