A New York Times editorial sheds light on the recent trillion-dollar appropriations bill passed by the House of Representative that includes $39 billion for the Department of Homeland Security. It mandates that Immigration and Customs Enforcement “maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds through September 30, 2014.” This represents, at a cost of $2.8 billion, “the highest detention capacity in history.” In an economy where many are still unemployed and can barely make ends meet, our government would rather spend billions detaining mostly non-violent immigrants. There are many alternatives to immigration detention programs (i.e., bond, anklet supervision, etc.) where the government would spend less monitoring immigrants rather than paying $122 per day under the current budget.
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