US spent billions on Caribbean immigration enforcement - report
Obama administration holds record for highest number of deportations.
WASHINGTON (CMC) – A new study has found that last year the Obama administration spent more on immigration enforcement affecting the Caribbean and other countries than on all the other major federal law enforcement agencies.
The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group, in its 182-report said the US government spent nearly US$18 billion on immigration enforcement.
It pointed out that immigration control has become “the federal government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority,” based on the vast resources devoted to monitoring illegal Caribbean and other immigrants and to detaining and deporting them.
“The ‘enforcement first’ policy that has been advocated by many in Congress and the public as a precondition for considering broader immigration reform has de facto become the nation’s singular immigration policy.
” The report also said the two main immigration enforcement agencies under the US Department of Homeland Security have referred more cases to the courts for prosecution than all of the Justice Department’s law enforcement agencies combined.
These include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The report said total spending on those agencies was US$14 billion, compared to US$18 billion on immigration enforcement.
It was also revealed that deportations have “increased dramatically” as a result of massive increases in spending, with more Caribbean and other immigrants removed in expedited proceedings that do not involve any formal proceeding before an immigration judge.
The budget for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has increased by 87 per cent since 2005, to nearly US$6 billion, and the number of illegal immigrants that ICE detains annually increased to 429,247 in 2011.
Last month, ICE said it deported 410,000 immigrants in 2012, giving President Barack Obama the record for the highest number of deportations.