News / USA

Report: Billions Spent on US Immigration Enforcement Have Impact

Report: Billions Spent on US Immigration Enforcement Have Impacti
X
January 15, 2013 10:08 PM
A two-decade shift in funding has put more staff, equipment and screening capabilities to work protecting U.S. borders. And a recent report by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute says 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. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports from Washington.
Like so many people in the United States, Claudia Hernandez wakes up every day, goes to work and comes home to take care of her children.

But Hernandez, who is not a U.S. citizen, said "I came when I was 13 years old, to California.  I was, of course, illegal. I was living in California for about 20 years and then I came to Maryland 10 years ago."

And after decades living and working in the U.S., the law finally caught up with her.  She was facing deportation.

"If I was going to be deported, then who was going to take care of my kids?  Who was going to see that my daughter goes to school every day, that she's healthy, that she's fine, that she eats," said Hernandez.  "Where is she going to go to sleep?"

A two-decade shift in funding has put more staff, equipment and screening capabilities to work protecting U.S. borders. And a recent report by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute says 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. 

With more money being spent on enforcement, deportations have more than doubled over the past decade, according to the Immigration Policy Center, a non-partisan research group.

Groups that help immigrants adjust in the U.S. say there's more fallout.

"The enforcement factor does play a role and what it more plays a role into is migrants using smugglers and going into organized crime to seek assistance to cross the border," said Jaime Farrant, executive director of Ayuda, which provides legal services to immigrants.
 
Along the border with Mexico, recent violence has sparked renewed concern.

Volunteers from Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman Project used to help patrol the border until it became too dangerous.  Gilchrist says the $18 billion spent last year on enforcement is not nearly enough.

"You're still seeing a rampant intrusion of vehicles bringing drugs or human cargo in or foot traffic bringing drugs and human cargo in," he said.

There's no shortage of emotion when it comes to immigration and previous efforts at reform have stalled.  But there seems to be a growing consensus in Congress that it may be time to try again.

George Mason University Professor David Hart hopes that's the case. "We also need to talk about the numbers of people who come to the country, what kinds of people we want immigrating to the country, and we haven't really been able to have those discussions because we've been hung up on the border," he said.

As for Claudia Hernandez, she considers herself lucky. She fought deportation and won and is now a legal immigrant and she's dreaming of one day becoming a U.S. citizen.

"Of course, I've been here more than half of my life, and I respect the United States," she said. "This is my country."

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Anti-Terror Drills Highlight China’s Push Into Central Asia

China, Russia, several central Asian countries wrap up massive anti terrorism military drills in Inner Mongolia More

Erdogan’s First Step: Secure More Power in New Role in Turkey

Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's first popularly elected president on Thursday; he picked former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu as PM More

Pakistan Army Fails to Break Political Deadlock

PM Sharif claims he didn't ask army to defuse crisis; military rejects claim More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: David Simcox from: U.S.A.
January 17, 2013 2:25 PM
It is troubling that VOA, a taxpayer funded US agency, accepts without question the finding of a private thinktank that the immigration enforcement budget is greater than the combined budgets of "all" federal law enforcement agencies. At least two major things wrong with this study are 1) it counts the customs service budget within Homeland security as an "immigrationlaw enforcement" function (that's $4.4 billion right there); 2) it fails to count the budgets of a number of important federal law enforcement agencies in making its comparison (The Coast guard's job is to enforce all federal laws on the sea -- including criminal laws)spending. It's budget alone is more than $10 billion).

throughout its history VOA, catering to its overseas audience, has subtly encouraged immigration to the U.S., while seeming defensive or even critical (as in this case) about the fact that the U.S. does have valid immigration laws and policies that involve such things as limits and deportations -- just like most other countries. In this case you should have done some research an presented the claim in the broader perspective you owe your overseas listeners.


by: Allen Bunch
January 16, 2013 12:16 PM
Obama is slowly but surely fixing the immigration problem. The more we inflate the work force, the lower wages are driven. Soon, wages will be low enough that immigration will no longer be a problem.


by: Dave Francis
January 15, 2013 9:54 PM

Legal and Illegal Immigration Pushes Welfare Spending Over $1 Trillion

More than a quarter of the $1 trillion spent on welfare in the United States goes directly to the households of immigrants, illegal parents and their children. And two out of three jobs created in the last four years went to legal immigrants and illegal aliens. These jobs would lift Americans out of hardship, and reduce entitlement spending still more. Instead, just last month, the unemployment rate among black Americans rose to 14 percent.


The problem isn't only an illegal alien issue; most legal immigrants use at least one welfare program. The problem is simply too much immigration. In fact, we are told many illegal migrants and immigrants have gone home since the start of the recession, but yet the number of legal immigrants in America continues to explode at over a million annually.

Some immigration makes good judgment, included the abbreviated STEM variety of scientific professionals, technical workers, engineers and mathematicians’ But such gigantic levels of legal and illegal immigration are keeping Americans trapped in poverty, but with the expansion of children slipping into America in deliberately gain citizenship by their parents bringing them here. This explosion of people is causing almost irreversible issues with the U.S. federal deficit, not to mention the busting with all 50 state budgets! Insist Senators and House Republicans get the message that we cannot afford to subsidize the financial problems of the world’s population anymore. Tell them to stop importing poverty. Tell them to halt it at the border and at the airline terminals. Do what other countries do and actually track foreign nationals, who overstay their visitor visas and cannot be that complicated.

America spends more than a trillion dollars on programs to help our own unemployed and disadvantaged. So why are we importing millions of immigrants to compete for jobs and resources with them? Why is it not a Felony to enter this sovereign nation without a proper visa?

Congress should help the jobless and destitute Americans in getting decent-paying employment and not importing millions of new workers to take entry-level jobs. In February 24, 1995 the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, chaired by civil rights activist Barbara Jordan, called for cutting annual legal immigration in half. This would still be double the historical average, and allow for plenty of reasonable immigration and not a over populated country of desperate, poor people. The primary reason for the cutting immigration that the commission cited was that every time immigration levels have been high -- and they are higher in the past decade than every -- wages fell and poverty rose. With so many millions of unemployed Americans and the nation in such dire fiscal crises, the commission's findings are even more important now than ever.

As Congress considers many "immigration reform" proposals, keep in mind that the reforms we need are those that result in more job openings, less poverty, and lower spending. The American citizenry must demand “THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT” to remove illegal aliens from the workplace using E-Verify. Also needed is the BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL, to end given immediate citizenship to smuggled children into the United States as it is the most expensive negative payout. This amendment in the 14TH Amendment was a legal advantage to freed slaves and their future offspring, not for every smuggled child into this country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid