Administration Spends More on Immigration Than all Other Federal Law Enforcement Combined

Slate, By Abby Ohlheiser, January 8

Last year, the Obama administration spent almost $18 billion on immigration enforcement. That’s more than what it spent on the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, combined, according to a report by the Migration Policy Institute. Twenty-four percent more to be exact.

Considering the amount of money that is spent, “today, immigration enforcement can be seen as the federal government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority,” a co-author of the report said in a statement.

In addition to huge spending, immigration enforcement accounts for over half of federally prosecuted crimes. The nearly 430,000 people detained each year for immigration-related crimes is a significantly larger number than the entire population currently serving sentences for all federal crimes combined. Meanwhile, deportations have increased from 30,000 in 1990 to nearly 400,000 in 2011. From 1990 to 2011more than 4 million people have been deported from the United States, according to the report.

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