The Corner

Politics & Policy

U.S. Taxpayers Pay about $1.2 Billion to Incarcerate Illegal Immigrants

The U.S. Department of Justice released statistics today regarding aliens incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It found that as of March 25, there were 41,528 illegal immigrants in its prison system. The cost of this to the American taxpayer runs into the billions.

Of the 41,528 inmates, 22,541 have already received immigration orders for removal. Meanwhile, 13,886 aliens are being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for “possible removal,” and 5,101 aliens are “still pending adjudication.” (Pending adjudication means that a final disposition has yet to be settled, but ICE officers have charged these inmates under deportation cases.)

Which is to say that U.S. taxpayers are spending in the ballpark of $1.2 billion per year on the incarceration of illegal immigrants. The Federal Bureau of Prisons spends on average $29,226 per year on each inmate (this average takes into account all inmates, including those who need high security, medium security, and low security). Moreover, U.S. taxpayers are footing a bill of roughly $660 million per year — or $1.8 million per day — for inmates who have already received deportation orders.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last month that he intends to speed up the deportation process of illegal immigrants who are being held in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. “We owe it to the American people,” he said, “to ensure that illegal aliens who have been convicted of crimes and are serving time in our federal prisons are expeditiously removed from our country as the law requires.”

Austin Yack — Austin Yack is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute and a University of California, Santa Barbara alumnus.

Most Popular

White House

The Problem Isn’t Just the GOP, Mr. Comey

During a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, James Comey alleged that the Republican party allows President Trump to get away with making inappropriate statements without holding him accountable. “If the Republicans, if they just close their eyes and imagine Barack Obama waking up in the morning saying someone ... Read More
Law & the Courts

‘Judges for the #Resistance’

At Politico, I wrote today about the judiciary’s activism against Trump on immigration: There is a lawlessness rampant in the land, but it isn’t emanating from the Trump administration. The source is the federal judges who are making a mockery of their profession by twisting the law to block the Trump ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Friendships Are America’s Asset

The stale, clichéd conceptions of Donald Trump held by both Left and Right — a man either utterly useless or only rigidly, transactionally tolerable — conceal the fact that the president does possess redeeming talents that are uniquely his, and deserve praise on their own merit. One is personal friendliness ... Read More
U.S.

Columbia 1968: Another Untold Story

Fifty years ago this week, Columbia students riding the combined wave of the civil-rights and anti-war movements went on strike, occupied buildings across campus, and shut the university down. As you revisit that episode of the larger drama that was the annus horribilis 1968, bear in mind that the past isn’t ... Read More
Culture

Only the Strident Survive

‘I am not prone to anxiety,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Times of London on April 22. “Last week, however, for the first time since I went through the emotional trauma of divorce, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.” The cause? “A few intemperate emails, inadvertently forwarded ... Read More