News / USA

Immigration Enforcement Top Crime Priority for US

Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations escort Jorge Sosa, a former Guatemalan army commando, following his extradition, Sept. 22, 2012.
Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations escort Jorge Sosa, a former Guatemalan army commando, following his extradition, Sept. 22, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
A new report casts immigration enforcement as the U.S. government's top anti-crime priority, marked by a two-decade shift in funding that has put more staff, equipment and screening capabilities to work protecting the country's borders.

The report by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute, based in Washington, comes amid recent reforms by the White House easing policies for some illegal immigrants and criticism by Republican lawmakers who want a greater focus on enforcement efforts.

The report notes that funding last year for immigration enforcement agencies totaled close to $18 billion, more than $3 billion higher than the combined budgets of the country's other principal law enforcement agencies. That $18 billion figure includes the budget of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which has some functions not related to immigration, such as inspecting cargo at U.S. ports.

Rising Costs of Immigration EnforcementRising Costs of Immigration Enforcement
x
Rising Costs of Immigration Enforcement
Rising Costs of Immigration Enforcement
But in 1986, spending for the other agencies was several times higher than the chief immigration enforcement body.  That same year, lawmakers enacted an immigration reform act that included amnesty for about 3 million illegal immigrants.

Since then, the report says, the United States has spent $187 billion on immigration enforcement, creating historic levels of border patrol staffing and infrastructure.

Apprehensions at the nation's borders have dropped dramatically, from more than 1.6 million in 2000 to about 340,000 in 2011. Meanwhile, the number of non-citizens deported from the United States has risen sharply, from 30,000 in 1990 to nearly 392,000 in 2011.

U.S. Immigration SpendingU.S. Immigration Spending
x
U.S. Immigration Spending
U.S. Immigration Spending
Doris Meissner, the head of MPI's U.S. Immigration Policy program, says that while the government has focused on building enforcement capabilities and improving their performance, enforcement alone is not sufficient to address the challenges that immigration poses to the country's future.  Meissner served as commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in the 1990s.

The report, released Monday, says fewer than half of those deported from the United States are removed following a hearing, with the Department of Homeland Security using its administrative powers to carry out a majority of the removals.

It also notes the role of economic factors in the shifting pattern of immigration, with a weaker U.S. economy and more opportunities at home slowing the number of people seeking to get into the country.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Charles Edward Brown
January 08, 2013 12:32 PM
All these resources spent and we still have over 12 million illegal aliens living in the United States. We need stronger Enforcement of employers of these illegal aliens. Make E-Verify both mandatory and retro-active so that every company will have to fire their illegal alien workers so that they can hire American citizens. Millions of jobs could be created and we can start sending home the millions of unwanted illegal aliens.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid