According to a report published by the Migration Policy Institute, the Obama administration spent $18 billion last year on immigration enforcement. The Migration Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research group based in Washington D.C. Another mind-blowing stat found in their published report is that the $18 billion dollar tab for immigration enforcement was larger than what the Obama administration spent on all other law enforcement agencies as a whole. The report also concluded:
“Based on the vast resources devoted to monitoring foreigners coming into the country and to detaining and deporting illegal immigrants, immigration control has become the federal government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority.” (New York Times)
The MPI’s 182-page report opened the flood gates for a new debate on the contentious issue of immigration policy in America. Since 1986, the spending on immigration has tripled five times over. Obama has pledged to lead on the issue of immigration. Republicans have argued for a while that America must become much tougher on immigration enforcement before Congress even thinks about legalizing the 11 million illegal aliens living in the U.S.
Critics contend that the MPI report’s figures were inaccurate because they include the whole budget for Customs and Border Protection. Both of these agencies are another division of the Department of Homeland Security. This agency also conducts inspections on land and at seaports. Supporters of the report’s findings tell a different story. Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations stated:
“There is no question that there has been a big, big increase in enforcement across the board.” (New York Times)