[Paleopsych] WP: $41 Billion Cost Projected To Remove Illegal Entrants

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$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
    would work.

    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
    the employers."

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