Monday, April 15, 2013

Gutting Immigration Enforcement

The budget for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is out and it looks like immigration law enforcement continues to lose out to child porn investigations.  Janet Reno Napolitano announced that the part of ICE that actually enforces immigration law, at least to a certain extent, is on the receiving end of budget cuts.  No cuts however for ICE Special Victims Unit, formally known as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  All the cuts hit Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), those ICE employees who actually enforce immigration law.

Homeland Security Today April 15, 2013 by Mickey McCarter
Napolitano Defends Proposed Cuts To ICE, Coast Guard
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is defending funding priorities in the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget for her department, debating proposed construction at a biodefense lab and a headquarters building as well as cuts in spending for the US Coast Guard and immigration enforcement. 

A non-RINO however is pushing back.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, opened the hearing of the homeland security subcommittee on April 11 by expressing his dissatisfaction with proposed spending for the Coast Guard and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offered by the White House on April 10.

"The department has presented a proposal to decimate the Coast Guard and ICE...in favor of headquarters pet projects and controversial research projects," Rogers said.

Under the proposal, overall funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would receive $39 billion, down 2.2 percent of $800 million below FY 2013. 

The big cut is approximately 3,000 detention spaces, spaces currently funded but not utilized by ERO at the order of the Obama Regime as part of the ongoing administrative amnesty.


Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), chairman of the subcommittee, assailed proposed cuts to ICE, which Congress consistently has mandated maintain 34,000 beds for illegal aliens at federal detention facilities. 

The proposed DHS FY 2014 budget would fund only 31,800 beds. "We are proposing to make greater uses of alternatives to detention, which are cheaper," Napolitano said, citing the cost of a detention bed as $119 per day.

Carter assailed the release of ICE detainees, particularly those released in February ahead of the anticipated March 1 start date for automatic budget cuts under sequestration. ICE released some detainees who are top offenders and should not have been eligible for supervision under alternatives to detention, such as ankle bracelets or other supervised release mechanisms.

Of course, bracelets are no alternative to detention if you actually want the alien to appear for their immigration hearing.  Failure to appear rates for aliens not detained range between 30% and 21%, so unless the alien has a solid case for relief, the alien will most likely not show up for any hearing. There are over 600,000 aliens who have absconded from orders of removal and are at large.  However this is the budget that Janet Reno Napolitano is cutting.  Not the child porn and fake Gucci bag enforcement budget.

Since the House has actually taken up an ICE budget, perhaps they should redirect by amendment the allocation of funds from ICE SVU to ICE ERO.  Create by budget amendment 50,000 detention beds, transfer personnel from SVU to ERO, mandate action by ICE whenever a removable alien is encountered.  The Republican Congress, and the Appropriations Committee have options, powerful options to allocate budget to immigration enforcement.  They should take this as an opportunity.

As an aside, the $119 quoted for a daily rate of immigration detention is only true in the large eastern metropolitan areas.  Even in the San Francisco area costs are much lower, closer to or lower than the standard rate the U.S. Marshals Service pays to local jails for their short-term prisoners.  $75 a day is the most ERO should be paying for detention at a major metropolitan jail system with private space significantly lower.  DHS lies like Marco Rubio.

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