GAO: $1.5B to jail unlawful immigrants

Jordy Yager|The Hill

What's Cheaper, Border Security or the 1.5 Billion to House Illegal Criminals?: According to the GOA's report in January 2009, the cost of building fence along the southern border of the United States was estimated at a cost average of roughly 2.8 million per mile. Add that number of miles coast to coast and these numbers reach into the multi-billions. So the question is answered, it is cheaper to let illegals in by the droves, have taxpayers fund these trespassers in a multitude of programs. The government didn't get their materials list from Home Depot, nor are they hiring illegals to build the fence, so why the high cost? My guess is the $300 hammers, and the $1000 port-a-potties it would use in this endeavor. Seriously though, most often when the government is in charge overexpenditures is the norm. Misuse, wrongful allocations of taxpayer dollars is really the driver of the high costs. Privatize the construction and the fence will get built faster and cheaper.

The federal government is spending more than $1.5 billion each year to jail illegal immigrants throughout the country, according to a new report by the investigative arm of Congress.

The report, issued this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), found that over the past five fiscal years the number of incarcerated non-U.S. citizens in federal prisons has increased by 4,000, to about 55,000. In state prisons, the criminal alien population has increased by about 75,000 people, for a total of 296,000.

The federal government repays states some of the cost of incarcerating undocumented immigrants through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.

Criminal aliens have consistently made up about 25 percent of the federal prison population since 2001, according to the study.

The study comes as the immigration debate heats up on Capitol Hill and the White House. President Obama ramped up efforts this week, hosting meetings with key business, faith and political officials on the issue. And Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), the head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s immigration task force, is trumpeting the need for immigration reform in speeches across the country.

Meanwhile, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) used the study to back his push for a fence and a wall that runs along the U.S.-Mexico border as a way to stop people from coming into the country illegally.

Nearly 70 percent of the criminal aliens in federal prisons, and 66 percent in state prisons, were born in Mexico, the report found. About five percent are from the Dominican Republic, and five percent from Colombia.

Read More Here

See the 2009 GOA report here

Incarcerated aliens in California increase, Sanctuary Cities to blame