Federal data shows immigration enforcement received $18 billion

According to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute, the federal government spent more on immigration enforcement in 2012 than all other federal law enforcement organizations combined — which includes the FBI.

The report says that immigration enforcement (which encapsulates Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) received a budget of about $18 billion; other federal law enforcement programs received around $14.4 billion.

Now, what does this mean for the everyday Los Angeles resident? Or, more importantly for that matter, what about the people across the country who are affected by immigration issues every day?

The first conclusion to make from these numbers is that immigration is a very important matter to the current administration. As a result, the federal government continues to revolutionize its policies towards legal and illegal immigration; and the programs that deal with these two types of immigration have not only undergone major revisions, but they have required vast amounts of money to function under these new protocols.

This does not necessarily mean that the federal government is more stringent in its enforcement of immigration policies (though the numbers suggest high deportation rates). These numbers could actually be a good thing, in some ways. New visa waiver programs, immigration stays, the DACA program and other initiatives that help immigrants achieve a more permanent stay in the U.S. require vast amounts of funds. So, in a way, this incredible budget reflects a national focus on improving the immigration system to make it more effective for everyone in the country.

Source: Associated Press, “Gov’t spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement,” Jan. 7, 2013