[Paleopsych] WP: $41 Billion Cost Projected To Remove Illegal Entrants
checker at panix.com
Thu Jul 28 21:44:50 UTC 2005
$41 Billion Cost Projected To Remove Illegal Entrants
By Darryl Fears
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 26, 2005; A11
A new study by a liberal Washington think tank puts the cost of
forcibly removing most of the nation's estimated 10 million illegal
immigrants at $41 billion a year, a sum that exceeds the annual budget
of the Department of Homeland Security.
The study, "Deporting the Undocumented: A Cost Assessment," scheduled
for release today by the Center for American Progress, is billed by
its authors as the first-ever estimate of costs associated with
arresting, detaining, prosecuting and removing immigrants who have
entered the United States illegally or overstayed their visas. The
total cost would be $206 billion to $230 billion over five years,
depending on how many of the immigrants leave voluntarily, according
to the study.
"There are some people who suggest that mass deportation is an
option," said Rajeev K. Goyle, senior domestic policy analyst for the
center and a co-author of the study. "To understand deportation policy
response, we had to have a number."
Advocates for tougher enforcement of immigration laws did not dispute
the study's figures but disputed its assumptions about how enforcement
The study assumed that tougher enforcement would induce 10 percent to
20 percent of undocumented residents in the United States to leave
voluntarily. But Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for
Immigration Studies, which advocates stronger enforcement of
immigration laws, argued that as many as half would leave voluntarily
if the government were to aggressively seek them out and crack down on
businesses that hire them illegally.
"We do need to know what enforcement would cost," he said, "but [the
study] is a cartoon version of how enforcement would work."
The study estimates that it would cost about $28 billion per year to
apprehend illegal immigrants, $6 billion a year to detain them, $500
million for extra beds, $4 billion to secure borders, $2 million to
legally process them and $1.6 billion to bus or fly them home.
Goyle said that he conducted the study, in part, to respond to
conservative officials who have advocated mass deportations, in some
cases immediately. Earlier this year, former House speaker Newt
Gingrich advocated sealing U.S. borders and deporting all illegal
immigrants within 72 hours of arrest.
Will Adams, a spokesman for Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), an outspoken
advocate of stronger immigration laws, called the study an "an
interesting intellectual exercise" by liberals that is "useless . . .
because no one's talking about" employing mass deportation as a
"No one's talking about buying planes, trains and automobiles to get
them out of the country," Adams said. "The vast number of illegal
immigrants are coming for jobs. Congressman Tancredo wants to go after
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