Going Bust, ICE Spends More Letting Illegal Aliens Go
Doing less with more – that’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at work. After detaining fewer illegal aliens and deporting only a trickle, the agency now says it’s out of money.
Having spent more taxpayer dollars than ever in the past year, ICE blames its projected $345 million budget shortfall on several factors:
- A high-tech, high-cost shift toward migrant tracking in the country. ICE didn’t specify the extent of its outlays here. Nor did it bother to mention a government report that assailed these alternatives to detention (ATD) as a “significant expense” resulting in “little value,” with high absconsion rates.
- A $100 million bill to restart the Remain in Mexico program. The administration could have saved that money, as well as time it expended in court to fight the policy. But that would have involved securing the border – something the Biden administration has no interest in doing.
- $14 million to pay for immigrant phone calls, including international calls to family members. No figures were provided regarding the government-sponsored flights migrants take into the U.S. interior.
- $15 million to train ICE officers on new (non) enforcement priorities. These protocols — which tied up staff with additional front-office paperwork and sharply reduced arrests of illegal aliens — were struck down by a federal court last month. Team Biden continues to litigate that, too.
While all this has been going on, ICE planners decided to economize in one area: asking for 26 percent fewer detention beds. This, as illegal border crossings remain at historic highs.
For all its spending, ICE removed 70 percent fewer illegal aliens in 2021 than in 2020, and despite a ballooning budget, the numbers aren’t trending any different this year.
By the agency’s own accounting, the feckless policies of this administration are costing more than it would to actually enforce existing laws. Where abrogation of duty intersects with fiscal irresponsibility, ICE is giving Americans a cold slap in the face.