Nine new immigration judges were appointed this week in an effort to address the 600,000-plus backlog of cases in the nation's immigration courts. The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) will host a panel discussion on Tuesday, August 22, on this issue, focusing on a recently published CIS analysis on the management of the immigration court system.
The findings of this analysis show that the average cost of a deportation is much smaller than the net fiscal drain created by the average illegal immigrant. ICE reported the average deportation cost as $10,854 in FY 2016. In FY 2012, ICE removed 71 percent more aliens with a similar budget, creating an average inflation-adjusted cost of $5,915. This compares to an average lifetime net fiscal drain (taxes paid minus services used) of $65,292 for each illegal immigrant, excluding their descendants.
In the long run the important questions are: What are the rules? How many people should the federal immigration program admit each year? How should they be selected? How can we minimize the harm from the program while maximizing the benefits?
Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue have started to answer these questions. They joined President Trump at the White House this morning to unveil legislation to restructure and modernize the federal immigration program.
The Department of Justice announced that sanctuary jurisdictions will lose access to certain federal law enforcement grants in 2017 if they prohibit officials from communicating with ICE, if they block ICE from interviewing jail inmates, or if they fail to notify ICE of the pending release of criminal aliens ICE is seeking to deport. These particular grants, known as the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, are the largest source of federal criminal justice funds for state, local, and tribal authorities.
Erecting barriers along the southern border would stem the flow of heroin carried by “mules,” and in vehicles crossing between the ports of entry. This in itself would increase the cost of drug smuggling and the cost of heroin, making the product less available to would-be users. It is, therefore, a positive first step that the fiscal 2018 Homeland Security Appropriations bill “includes $1.6 billion for construction of a wall and other physical barriers along the U.S. southern border.”