U.S. Spends More On Immigration Enforcement Than On All Other Federal Crimes Combined

The U.S. is spending more on immigration enforcement than all other federal crimes put together. (Photo via ice.gov)

The U.S. is spending more on immigration enforcement than all other federal crimes put together. (Photo courtesy of ICE.)

By Ashley Lopez
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

As a national debate over immigration kicks into gear this year, the mounting cost of immigration enforcement for the United States has been tallied.

According to a report from the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, the federal government currently spends more money enforcing immigration than on enforcing all other major federal laws put together.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, in fiscal year 2012 “spending for the CBP, ICE and US-VISIT reached nearly $18 billion. This amount exceeds by approximately 24 percent total spending for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Secret Service, US Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which stood at $14.4 billion in FY 2012.”

The policy center found that in terms of “resource levels, case volumes, and enforcement actions,” U.S. immigration enforcement agencies and programs exceed all other “principle federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined.”

This means more money is spent enforcing immigration on a federal level than on drug-related crimes, large-scale fraud such as money laundering or bank fraud, and other white collar offenses.

The study also found that more than half of criminal court prosecutions are currently for immigration-related crimes and more deportations or removals of non-citizens are being carried out through”administrative orders” instead of through immigration judges.

In short, the federal government spends a lot of time and money for the sole purpose of cracking down on immigrants and enforcing immigration laws.

In the first four years of the Obama administration, the federal government set a record for the number of deportations carried out. In fact, the feds deported more than 1 million immigrants, many of whom were not criminals.

The rate of deportations has raised concern and caught the attention of immigrant rights activists.

According to a 2011 investigation by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, an immigration enforcement program aimed at removing undocumented immigrants who were violent criminals was largely used to target and deport immigrants with no criminal backgrounds.

There are signs that the Obama administration is softening its immigration policies. President Obama recently announced that the federal government was going to allow undocumented immigrants with family in the United States to become permanent residents, which would shield them from deportation.

A federal watchdog site has suggested that much of the information ICE has handed over might also be questionable.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, which tracks federal prosecutions, found that much of the data about how many people ICE has detained is wrong.

TRAC writes: “Case-by-case records provided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that many fewer individuals were apprehended, deported or detained by the agency than were claimed in its official statements — congressional testimony, press releases, and the agency’s latest 2010 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.”

The group has written that either “ICE has been making highly exaggerated and inaccurate claims about the level of its enforcement activities,” or it is “withholding on a massive scale.”



One Response

  1. Dave Francis


    It don’t matter which group of politicians you vote for, as the cost for another Path to Citizenship is prohibitive for all Americans. Speaking for myself, as an Independent and probably a good half of America just surfing the web and not hand tied by the Liberal press and their leftists editorial staff, I believe that in heavily Liberal strongholds that unknown numbers of non-citizens voted in the presidential election. With Obama pushing even more taxes, he wants another Amnesty and hundreds of billions of people throughout the world is avidly listening? The encouraging word is going out and all these uncountable numbers of foreign nationals are going to sweep down on the poorly guarded borders of Mexico and Canada. Then with this well publicized scenario that entries as a tourist is not tracked, a good course of action will bring unfettered numbers of visitors to our door, that are of no mind to return home.

    All we going to gain from Obama’s immigration venture is more poverty, more illiterate and uneducated who we the taxpayer will eventually have to cover their bills. Another multi-trillion dollar amnesty is a catastrophe waiting to happen, so says the Heritage Foundation. Have you noticed that you already paying for every smuggled child of illegal aliens, who have reached sovereign America? The “Anchor Baby” is the real thing, as once settled here under a fabricated misuse law, they get automatic citizenship and YOU PAY, and YOU KEEP PAYING from delivery to grave. UNLESS WE ADD AN AMENDMENT TO THE 14th AMENDMENT, CHANGE WILL NEVER COME AND FOREVER WE WILL BE PAYING FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS CHILDREN WHO CLAIM CITIZENSHIP, WHICH WAS STRINGENTLY APPLIED TO ONLY SLAVES? Their parents have that foothold and are able to collect every citizen benefit, without even spending one penny. No wonder Medicade is out the window in entitlements that should be going to citizens, real citizens.

    Obama is showing his true Socialist true self, especially when he declares we must pay our bills? Can anybody tell me that his spending isn’t extravagant, when every prior and post administration we are paying for every foreign child; overloading our schools with non English speaking illegal children and the consequences to Americans who taxes are riding sky high. The newspapers and Lib-Democrats always broadcast about entitlements for low income families, when millions of these families are here illegally? One member slips across the borders, fly here and the rest relatives follow, and collect ample amounts of cash payments and citizen benefits for every infant.

    Two laws could send illegal aliens packing and you can read about the Legal Workforce Bill, which detects illegal aliens stealing jobs from Americans Mandatory E-Verify is the way to go and it enforces strict regulations on unconcerned business owners. Amnesty is a senseless, diabolical plan for illegal aliens, when an estimated 24 million Americans are jobless? The Birthright Citizenship Bill will stop children of millions of illegal aliens from legal theft of citizenship, thus discouraging the never ending stream of illegal aliens arriving here. These people disrespect our laws and come here to pilfer citizen’s rights. It can be guaranteed that if you read about passing these two laws, our government could save hundreds of billions of dollars each year, which would certainly help to relieve the pressure on the amount of money being spent on entitlements on foreign nationals. Don’t listen to the ravings of the open border zealots, who have infiltrated the Obama Administration. In addition ignore what you read in the national press, as they are tainted with the Liberal Progressives, who think America should have an open door policy with no borders. Investigate your States costs and the federal government and then contact your Congressman and those in Congress and stop this invasion for good?

    I really could care less who comes here legally, as they have not broken the law and waited patiently for a visa. I just don’t want to financially support them with my taxes, specifically illegal aliens and their extended families. Foreign nationals are so pampered by Congress, not judging illegal entry as bad behavior and even disrespect for our policies once here, deserve punishment for this lawless Turpitude as a class 1 felony. We have our own mess of “freeloaders” who prefer to leech of the rest of us taxpayers, but the U.S government seems to think we should offer even more taxes to support the corrupt United Nations and all the parasites that arrive here with their smuggled children.


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