The federal government budgets more on immigration enforcement than the combined budgets for the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, the US Marshals and ATF. Nearly 18 billion is budgeted for immigration enforcement as compared to only a 14.4 billion combined budget for the other federal law enforcement agencies according to a newly released report Immigration Enforcement in the United States; The Rise of a Formidable Machinery. Click HERE to read the report.
The 182 page report issued by the nonpartisan research group Migration Policy Institute is considered as the “first salvo” in the upcoming immigration debates. This report details the budgets, strategy and success of Customs and Border Protection(CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) and the US Visit Program.
Doris Meissner, one of the authors of this report and a commissioner for I&NS during the Clinton years, states that the publics’ perception of uncontrolled migration from Mexico “has not caught up with the reality.”
The report highlights that the U.S. Border Patrol, one of the major components of immigration enforcement, has almost doubled their manpower from 10,819 agents in FY 2004 to 21,370 agents in FY 2012 while the number of apprehensions made by the agency has decreased drastically. Apprehensions by the Border Patrol peaked at over 1.6 million in FY 2000 and have decreased to only 340,252 in FY 2011.
ICE is spotlighted, in sharp contrast to the Border Patrol, with removals increasing dramatically and with an emphasis on removing targeted criminal aliens. Removals by ICE have steadily increased from 188,467 in FY 2000 to 391,953 in FY 2011.
A general conclusion of this report is that illegal immigration is more controlled than public perception believes. “Today, the facts on the ground no longer support assertions of mounting illegal immigration and demands for building an ever-larger law enforcement bulwark to combat it.”
Although the report is fact-filled its conclusions represent a more liberal view in that enforcement is already sufficient. “Even with record-setting expenditures and the full array of statutory and administrative tools, enforcement alone is not sufficient to answer the broad challenge that immigration- legal and illegal-pose for society and America’s future. Meeting those needs cannot be accomplished through enforcement, regardless of how well it is carried out. Other changes are needed…that better align immigration policy with the nation’s economic and labor market needs and future growth and well-being.”
The implied conclusion of the report is that the United States already has enough enforcement and now we need to overhaul the immigration system which, to many, indicates a need for amnesty.