The Cost of "Strict Enforcement" Part II

By Santiago & Kelly Valenzuela

The government is hiring more federal employees:

The federal government has hired two additional judges and is preparing to appoint two more to Georgia’s immigration courts, hoping to shrink a massive and costly backlog of deportation cases here.

But some court observers doubt whether this will have much effect amid a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration that is filling court dockets.

The article goes on to state that there are over a quarter of a million immigration cases pending nationwide.

So for the duration of their stay in jail, we must pay for the immigrant's food and shelter (which costs $60.50 per day per inmate according to the article), pay for the salary, benefits and retirement packages of the extra judges and other court employees, the ICE employees that will ship them back to their home country - and then pay for the trip as well. Multiply this by 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants in the country and you have a number that easily reaches into the tens of trillions of dollars - greater than the GDP of the United States.

Granted, a certain percentage of those incarcerated are genuine criminals (those who have violated the rights of others), but many are being categorized as criminals just for coming to this country to seek a better life. They want to be here legally, they want to work, they want their children to be educated, but it's impossible for them to do so.  In desperation, they come here illegally and make the best of the awful situation governments have put them in.  Why not bring them out of the shadows and let them live their lives as they see fit?  Let the prisons and the courts keep the real criminals, but let those trying to better their lives go free!

Or, perhaps we should "get tough on employers"? Perhaps we should drive the farms that feed us out of business?  Perhaps our yards would be more beautiful without landscapers?  Perhaps our hotels and homes would be more clean without maids? Perhaps our highways would be better built without highway workers?  Perhaps our homes would be better built without a roofer?  Or maybe we should just pay 3-4 times more than what we already pay for those goods and services?  I don't know about you, but I certainly cannot afford that!

Politicians on all sides of the aisle complain regularly about jobs being shipped overseas. The killing of the cheap labor market via strict crackdowns on illegal immigrants or their employers is guaranteed to kill more jobs, cost more money and cause more jobs to be shipped overseas than they would like you to know. The next time someone complains about the cost of illegal immigration (or even legal immigration as FAIR, the Center for Immigration Studies, NumbersUSA and other racist organizations do), remember the money and jobs that will actually be lost if immigration is reduced!

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