Not to be outdone by the George W. Bush administration, the Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement in the last fiscal year than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a report on the government's enforcement efforts from a the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan Washington think tank focused on global immigration issues.
In FY2012 the government spent about $18 billion on immigration enforcement programs run by ICE and CBP, which includes the Border Patrol. It is alarming as this budget exceeds the combined budgets of the FBI, ATF, DEA and the U.S. Secret Service by about $3.6 billion dollars.
According to the report, "Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery," federal immigration-related criminal prosecutions also outnumber cases generated by the Justice Department.
The 182-page report concludes that the Obama administration has made immigration its highest law enforcement priority.
It is very sad that immigration enforcement is the federal government's highest criminal law enforcement priority. How else can this gigantic budget and increased prosecution can be explained? And how does immigration enforcement help our security and well-being by deporting the vast majority of non-criminals? This year about 400,000 people were deported or removed.
Immigration reform should be a priority of the Obama administration, not only priority in speeches but real action to change our broken immigration system. If the Republicans will not play ball and agree to some reform, President Obama should take a bold step and mandate orders from the top down, like he did with the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in helping these young adults who came to this country illegally.