The Obama Administration has been getting really tough on illegal immigration (h/t lawyers.com). It may be hard to believe, but the government spends more money on enforcing the laws on immigration than all federal law enforcement agencies combined. In my opinion, this is a tragic misuse of resources. The Migration Policy Institute’s recent report. The non-partisan think tank reported nearly $18 billion is spent each year on immigration and border enforcement.
Those opposed to comprehensive immigration reform cite problems in border security as a reason to stall new immigration policy. This flies in the face of the facts. According to the Center for American Progress through administration policy, congressional appropriations, and passage of discrete enforcement legislation such as the Secure Fence Act, the federal government has deployed massive enforcement resources at the border and in the interior. The impacts have been profound:
- Net undocumented migration is now at or below zero.
- The number of people apprehended crossing the border has decreased, even as border agents now patrol every single mile of the border every day and in many places have 100 percent eyes on the border—meaning that they can view nearly all attempts to cross the border in real time.
- Annual deportations have reached historic levels.
- There are more “boots on the ground” at the border than there have ever been in history.
Instead of focusing on Immigration enforcement, the immigration reform should instead embrace the potential gains from immigration reform, particularly the social and economic benefits. For instance, there should be a quicker path for entrepreneurs and job creators to obtain citizenship.
The infographic provided by the Center for American Progress shows a huge increase in border security from the last five years.
The Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson handles immigration cases in New York and throughout the United States. Feel free to contact us at 212-233-0666.