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Thread: Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Is Blowing Holes In Agency Budgets

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Is Blowing Holes In Agency Budgets

    Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Is Blowing Holes In Agency Budgets

    Two years of shock-and-awe tactics have altered the missions of several federal departments and left others scrambling for money. And the policy isn’t even working.

    By Roque Planas
    10/09/2018 10:12 pm ET

    Two years in, President Donald Trump’s promised immigration crackdown is hardly on pace to deliver his stated goal of deporting up to 3 million people. But it has produced something else: gaping budget holes that the administration has scrambled to fill.

    Since taking office, the president has repeatedly ordered sweeping and often improvised changes that gave federal agencies a greater stake in immigration enforcement but muddled their missions. The sudden policy shifts sparked self-inflicted crises that regularly required band-aid solutions far more expensive than the status quo. And to pay for it all, the administration pulled money from federal agencies that have nothing to do with immigration ― including cancer research, Head Start and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It’s policymaking for the Trump era: rushed, chaotic, expensive — and ultimately self-defeating.

    A Tent Camp For The Price Of A Luxury Hotel

    Perhaps the most glaring example of the wastefulness of the White House’s approach is the creation of the tent shelter for migrant children at Tornillo, Texas. The administration had the camp hastily erected in June as an emergency measure to shelter 400 unaccompanied minors and children it had separated from their families at the border. The Tornillo contract was supposed to expire in September. But as the month wound to a close, officials decided to keep the facility open to solve a new crisis of the administration’s own making.

    The new crisis was triggered by the administration’s decision in May to begin fingerprinting the adult sponsors (often relatives) who sought to retrieve children the government had detained — and to share that information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Security officers patrol the perimeter of the tent encampment near the Tornillo Port of Entry in West Texas. It was initially built to house 400 children. Now nearly 4,000 are detained there.

    Because sponsors are often unauthorized immigrants themselves and therefore reluctant to be fingerprinted by federal agencies, the outcome was predictable: More children are stuck in shelters for longer periods of time. The system, run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement, is currently housing more than 13,000 of them — about five times as many as a year ago. So instead of shutting down the Tornillo tent camp, the Trump administration is packing more children into it, with plans to hold as many as 3,800 minors.

    The expected cost: $750 per night, per bed. For about the same price, the federal government could pay for a deluxe hotel room — with a view of Central Park — at Trump’s Manhattan hotel. For every month that the Trump administration locks up a single undocumented minor in the Texas desert, it pays more than the annual cost of putting a student through state college, complete with room and board.

    The policy of fingerprinting sponsors and sharing that information with ICE didn’t exist when Congress approved the HHS budget. But the government is still stuck with the bill. To cover the gap, HHS reshuffled about $260 million last month from other parts of its budget, as Yahoo! News first reported. Among the losers in the battle of priorities are cancer research ($13.3 million), Head Start preschool ($16.7 million) and HIV prevention ($5.7 million).

    Improvising A Bigger Detention System

    Trump’s improvised crackdown blew a similar hole in the ICE budget.

    Within a week of taking office, Trump signed an executive order eliminating arrest priorities set by the outgoing Obama administration. Instead of focusing on detaining recent border-crossers, people with serious crimes or those who had been deported in the past, the White House freed the agency to arrest any unauthorized immigrant its agents find. The mandate was clear: Arrest more migrants.

    ICE did just that. The agency’s immigration arrests jumped 42 percent over the first eight months after Trump took office. Immigration arrests jumped an additional 17 percent over the first three quarters of this fiscal year, to nearly 120,000, ICE’s most recent data show. More than a third of those people ICE arrested had no criminal convictions, meaning they wouldn’t have been arrested under the Obama-era guidelines Trump scrapped.

    Indiscriminate arrests make intuitive sense for a politician who campaigned as an enforcement hard-liner. But they’re an inefficient way of removing unauthorized immigrants from the country. People without serious criminal records or deportation orders are typically entitled to a hearing. Because the immigration court backlog has ballooned by more than 48 percent over the last two years to 764,000 cases, it often takes years to get new arrestees in front of an immigration judge.

    “They’re overwhelming us,” Dana Leigh Marks, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Immigration Judges, told HuffPost. “The number of immigration cases coming in continues to be crippling to the court.”

    All of those new arrestees waiting for hearings are straining the immigration detention system. Congress last year showered nearly 1 billion new dollars on ICE — a windfall larger than the previous six years of budget boosts combined. But that budget gave the agency only enough money to lock up an average of 38,000 people facing deportation per day. ICE blew past that by 2,000 beds in average daily capacity.

    So, just like HHS, the Department of Homeland Security, which is ICE’s parent agency, had to reshuffle about $200 million last month to make up the shortfall. The most public loser was FEMA, which lost $10 million just as Hurricane Florence barreled toward North Carolina.

    To fund detention and deportation operations, Homeland Security pulled $13 million from Homeland Security Investigation’s domestic investigation budget and an additional $270,000 from its international operations. The Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration coughed up tens of millions each.

    “They’ve put the cart in front of the horse here,” former ICE official Alonzo Peña said. “They’re going to do these programs and figure out how to pay for it afterwards.”

    The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of referring all migrants caught crossing the border illegally for criminal prosecution is also both expensive and inefficient. At an average daily bed cost of $80 per prisoner — not to mention the costs of judges and public defenders required to make the policy work — the Justice Department is spending hundreds of millions of dollars detaining and prosecuting people the Department of Homeland Security aims to deport anyway.

    So Damn Much Money… And Not Much To Show For It

    The irony of the Trump administration’s approach is that, by all the most obvious metrics, it has failed to meet its goals. With the first three quarters of this year tallied, ICE is on track to deport about 250,000 migrants — well below the more than 409,000 removals registered in 2012.

    Likewise, with one month left to tally for the fiscal year, arrests for illegal border crossings stand at about 355,000. Those numbers are among the lowest registered since the 1970s. But they’re up, modestly, over the previous year, indicating that Trump’s massive spending — aimed squarely at scaring potential migrants from trying to cross the border — isn’t working.

    Congress, firmly in Republican control, has so far declined to halt the agency’s backdoor expansion of the immigrant detention system or its evolving prioritization of petty immigration arrests over investigative work.

    “You’re robbing one piece of the immigration system to feed that beast of the detention system,” Tracey Valerio, ICE’s former head of management, said. “Those are tough decisions that Congress will be forced to make.”

    DHS funding legislation winding its way through Congress suggests the plan is to throw still more money at the problem. If passed, Congress would shovel another quarter billion dollars into ICE next year — a small increase compared to either last year or to what the White House asked for, but still well above any other year since 2012.

    But until that new funding bill passes, the Trump administration is left shuffling money around to pay for its immigration agenda. Even Trump has had to curb his ambitions to pay for his administration’s haphazard policymaking. Last month, DHS yanked $26 million that Customs and Border Protection had earmarked for “border security fencing, infrastructure and technology” and gave it to ICE. It was money for Trump’s promised border wall.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0876edaa336db
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Start enforcing all laws, no carve outs or delays. Send more out more quickly.. Stop allowing anyone illegal to enter. Find visa overstays by name and give them short time to leave or face severe consequences.

    Millions out, billions saved.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    It's a rare moment when I see an article in the Huffington Post that I think is worth posting here, but alas, I found this article today and it should be posted because it exposes in rather short form the inherent, embedded absurdities of the US immigration system and the many pitfalls of trying to cure it with tweaks and twacks.

    Indiscriminate arrests make intuitive sense for a politician who campaigned as an enforcement hard-liner. But they’re an inefficient way of removing unauthorized immigrants from the country. People without serious criminal records or deportation orders are typically entitled to a hearing. Because the immigration court backlog has ballooned by more than 48 percent over the last two years to 764,000 cases, it often takes years to get new arrestees in front of an immigration judge.

    “They’re overwhelming us,” Dana Leigh Marks, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Immigration Judges, told HuffPost. “The number of immigration cases coming in continues to be crippling to the court.”

    All of those new arrestees waiting for hearings are straining the immigration detention system. Congress last year showered nearly 1 billion new dollars on ICE — a windfall larger than the previous six years of budget boosts combined. But that budget gave the agency only enough money to lock up an average of 38,000 people facing deportation per day. ICE blew past that by 2,000 beds in average daily capacity.
    Within a week of taking office, Trump signed an executive order eliminating arrest priorities set by the outgoing Obama administration. Instead of focusing on detaining recent border-crossers, people with serious crimes or those who had been deported in the past, the White House freed the agency to arrest any unauthorized immigrant its agents find. The mandate was clear: Arrest more migrants.

    ICE did just that. The agency’s immigration arrests jumped 42 percent over the first eight months after Trump took office. Immigration arrests jumped an additional 17 percent over the first three quarters of this fiscal year, to nearly 120,000, ICE’s most recent data show. More than a third of those people ICE arrested had no criminal convictions, meaning they wouldn’t have been arrested under the Obama-era guidelines Trump scrapped.
    So, to summarize the good stuff:

    1. Trump did his job and ordered illegal aliens be arrested and deported. He did this in his first week of office.
    2. Congress did their job and appropriated more than $1 billion in extra funding to support ICE to do this.
    3. ICE did their jobs, and arrested 42% more illegal aliens.

    So what happened? What went wrong?

    Well, the US Department of Justice is what went wrong. The already huge back-log at DOJ nearly doubled during Trump's first 2 years in office under Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, because Trump, Congress and ICE were doing their jobs and arresting illegal aliens for deportation. The "catch and release" issue isn't rogue Presidents, or ICE and Border Patrol agents unlawfully releasing illegal aliens into the community, it is the only lawful consequence of DOJ not keeping pace with the agencies who supply it with deportation hearing requirements. It's not even the result of an increase in border crossings, because even though they've upticked in these phony "asylum" cases, border crossings overall are actually down during the Trump Administration.

    So what is the problem and why can't or doesn't DOJ keep pace, hold the required deportation hearing and issue the deportation orders? Because deporting illegal aliens isn't their job. Their job in DOJ is not to deport illegal aliens, it is to protect the illegal aliens, the drug cartels who brought them here, and the immigration lawyers who represent them against deportation orders. That is why the simple 2 question legal query to verify illegal status and issue the deportation order was MOVED by Congress from DHS (formerly INS) to the US Department of Justice. Was Congress privvy to the real purpose? Probably not. They thought it made sense as sold to them to separate the functions of arresting and deportation, along the lines of a criminal law, where those who arrest are not the same as those who imprison. But there's one big difference here, while illegal immigration is a violation of law, it is a civil violation of law, outside the scope of the criminal code of law, and covered by simple and separate civil immigration law. You are not imprisoned, your freedom is not taken away nor your life taken as a result of the deportation order process, you are simply penalized by a civil fine and returned to your home country where you belong, therefore, there is no basis in the Constitution or Law for the functions of arresting illegal aliens and deporting illegal aliens to be separated into two separate Departments.

    Solution: The function of issuing deportation orders must be moved back to ICE and DHS so they are responsible for both the arrest and deportation of illegal aliens, all members of their families who are illegal aliens along with all minor children, regardless of where they were born.

    When I researched this DOJ anomaly some months ago, the deportation order function was moved to DOJ during the Bush II administration soon after DHS was created following 9/11, around 2002-2003. I believe this has been one of the greatest causes of our break-down in immigration law enforcement, resulting in the complete humiliation of law enforcement, both Border Patrol Agents and ICE Agents, leaving illegal aliens free to roam our country laughing their asses off at BP and ICE when they're released.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    Start enforcing all laws, no carve outs or delays. Send more out more quickly.. Stop allowing anyone illegal to enter. Find visa overstays by name and give them short time to leave or face severe consequences.

    Millions out, billions saved.
    It's not possible, GeorgiaPeach. The immigration system has been rigged through the US Department of Justice to ensure the laws are not enforced and illegal aliens are not deported. The function of issuing deportation orders has to be moved back to ICE/DHS from DOJ. DOJ is the cog in the wheel, accountable to no one, doing what they want to do. It's not Jeff Sessions' fault unless as a Senator he voted for this change of deportation function from DHS to DOJ during the Bush Administration. Regardless of who is AG, in my opinion, the deportations will never take place on any level of numbers worth talking about until the function of issuing deportation orders is returned to ICE/DHS. This has to become a number one top priority.
    Last edited by Judy; 10-10-2018 at 12:02 PM.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Ship their carcasses OUT on buses!

    It is cost effective...and much better transportation than how those parasites came here on!

    Load up barges to Central America...you can load a 1,000 or more on a barge!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
    Ship their carcasses OUT on buses!

    It is cost effective...and much better transportation than how those parasites came here on!

    Load up barges to Central America...you can load a 1,000 or more on a barge!
    Or personnel carriers. Also, we rent these planes we take them out on now. We should own our own planes and have our own pilots. Why would we enrich some private outfit to do this? We need our own government planes. But yes, I'm all for buses and barges, too. I'm also for telling the countries they came from to come fetch them or we'll cut off their nuts in aid and trade, i. e. Judy's Plan B.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member stoptheinvaders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgiaPeach View Post
    Start enforcing all laws, no carve outs or delays. Send more out more quickly.. Stop allowing anyone illegal to enter. Find visa overstays by name and give them short time to leave or face severe consequences.

    Millions out, billions saved.
    Stop allowing anyone illegal to enter

    this is the key! Otherwise we are a train wreck, a hurricane bearing down.
    ---------------
    War Powers. Congress holds the power to declare war. As a result, the President cannot declare war without their approval. However, as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, Presidents have sent troops to battle without an official war declaration (which happened in Vietnam and Korea).
    --------------------

    We are not asking for a War, we are asking for troops on US soil to prevent invaders from entering. If troops can be sent to Viet Nam why not the border?
    -------------------
    The Posse Comitatus Act, which passed after the Civil War to keep federal troops from policing the South, limits federal troops' deployment on U.S. soil and forbids using them to enforce domestic laws. The President can deploy troops if there's an insurrection or invasion on U.S. soil.
    ----------------------

    We are not asking them to enforce domestic law---they are not asked to arrest a citizen for driving 5 miles over the speed limit, they are to stop invaders.
    This is an invasion, and our military should be used to stop it. Military funds should be used to build the wall.

    We sent the military to fight Ebola---

    The Obama administration notified lawmakers Tuesday night that the Pentagon would reprogram $500 million in unobligated funds to support an expanded effort to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to administration officials. Taken on top of last week’s Defense Department move to redirect $500 million to Iraq and the Ebola epidemic, the Pentagon may spend up to $1 billion on combating the deadly disease.
    The request comes just hours after President Obama met with federal officials and medical personnel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss U.S. efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
    While the White House is obligated to notify Congress about any reprogramming of federal funds, lawmakers do not need to sign off on the funds. The Defense Department is already moving ahead with its earlier reprogramming request.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...billion-fighti










    Last edited by stoptheinvaders; 10-10-2018 at 01:51 PM.
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  8. #8
    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    It's not possible, GeorgiaPeach. The immigration system has been rigged through the US Department of Justice to ensure the laws are not enforced and illegal aliens are not deported. The function of issuing deportation orders has to be moved back to ICE/DHS from DOJ. DOJ is the cog in the wheel, accountable to no one, doing what they want to do. It's not Jeff Sessions' fault unless as a Senator he voted for this change of deportation function from DHS to DOJ during the Bush Administration. Regardless of who is AG, in my opinion, the deportations will never take place on any level of numbers worth talking about until the function of issuing deportation orders is returned to ICE/DHS. This has to become a number one top priority.
    I wish you knew how ridiculous that sounds. DOJ, DHS, half a dozen one way, six the other. Our immigration laws would have to be enforced and adjudicated as is coded into law regardless of what department holds responsibility. Basically nothing would change unless our laws were changed. We need a complete rewrite of our Ted Kennedy immigration laws. We're not in Kansas anymore Toto and we're no longer living in the 80's. To blame the DOJ on this is ludicrous. The DOJ (Sessions) is doing everything possible to expedite the system. He has hired more judges and is forcing the immigration judges to abide by a quota system. He has also reduced the judges latitude in adjudicating cases and greatly reduced their ability to continue cases.

    Everyone has their own ideas of how to improve the system and make everything better, but unless you're actually on the front lines and dealing with it, you really don't know. Armchair QB's aren't going to fix the problem. As for your questioning of Jeff Sessions resolve, I also think that is ridiculous. Everyone, maybe with the exception of you, know that Sessions is doing everything he can do to improve the situation. He has worked tirelessly and I for one am appreciative of his efforts. The only way to fix the problem is through law and for that we need congressional action! However, as unfortunate as it is, the will doesn't seem to be there. So instead of whining about the mission statement of DHS and DOJ, perhaps you would be better served demanding our U.S. Congress do their job!

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Congress, do your job, and please move the function of deportation hearings back to ICE/DHS where they were before the Open Borders GW Bush conned you into moving this function to DOJ to be lost in the labyrinth of DemoQuack Open Borders Lawyers and ensure illegal aliens were never deported.
    Last edited by Judy; 10-10-2018 at 02:28 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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