Immigration ‘Reform’ Lies

After spending more than a decade in finance, Michael Volpe has worked as a freelance journalist since 2009. He's based in Chicago. Volpe published his first book in October 2012, titled "Prosecutors Gone Wild: The Inside Story of the Trial of Chuck Panici, John Gliottoni, and Louise Marshall." His new book, "The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers," is now available.


A recent study, which claimed that immigration resources are at their historical height and constitute a substantial portion of the federal budget, became the flashpoint for a contentious hearing in the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

In January 2013, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released a study that concluded, among other things, that federal immigration enforcement accounted for more of the budget than all other forms of law enforcement combined. Other points made by the study include that deportations are at an all-time high and border crossing are the lowest in more than a decade.

This study, released in January 2013, has been cited by a number of leading Democrats, including Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano when she used the study to claim gains in border security. Here’s how ABC covered the release of the report in January 2013:

Spending for immigration enforcement significantly outweighs the cumulative spending for all other major criminal federal law enforcement in the U.S., according to a report released today by the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

With this in mind, the report, “Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery,” finds that the U.S. must move beyond an enforcement-driven approach to immigration and focus on more effective workplace enforcement and changing immigration policy to better suit the country’s economic needs.

On February 5, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss the veracity of this report. Muzaffar Chishti represented MPI at the hearings. Chishti is the director of MPI’s office at New York University School of Law.

Jessica Vaughan, a policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), represented the other side. Right away, Vaughan challenged the central premise of the MPI report. While it’s true that DHS gets more for enforcement activities than all other agencies combined, Vaughan argued, DHS does far more than simply immigration enforcement, and the immigration enforcement part of DHS’s budget is impossible to measure.

In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) received about $20 million to fund Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and US-VISIT for the missions of immigration and customs enforcement and foreign visitor data collection and analysis. This amount is about one-third of overall federal law enforcement expenditures (not counting most military and intelligence service law enforcement nor Coast Guard), which totaled about $39 billion in 2012.2

That might sound like we are spending an enormous sum on immigration law enforcement. But the immigration agencies’ work encompasses far more than immigration law enforcement. Customs enforcement represents a huge share of these agencies’ budgets, especially at the ports of entry, along with intellectual property enforcement; transnational gang suppression; child pornography investigations; fighting human trafficking; returning stolen antiquities; doing cargo inspections; and interdicting drugs, weapons, bulk cash, and other contraband that is smuggled across our borders.

Immigration and customs enforcement overlaps with the mission of many other federal law enforcement agencies, and sometimes even surpasses them in productivity. For example, in 2012, CBP agents seized 4.2 million pounds of illegal drugs — more than three times the amount seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration in the previous year. In the last eight years, under the auspices of Operation Community Shield, ICE has arrested 27,600 gang members; no comparable statistics could be found for the FBI, but there is no doubt that ICE plays a leading role in addressing this serious public safety problem. In addition, both ICE and CBP routinely make significant seizures of illegal weapons and currency from criminal organizations trying to enter or already operating in the United States.

In his rebuttal, Chishti largely echoed the conclusions of MPI’s original report.

By almost any available metric, the level of immigration enforcement in the United States now stands at a record high. In fiscal 2012, spending for the federal government’s two main immigration enforcement agencies, US Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as its primary immigration enforcement technology initiative, the US-VISIT program, reached $17.9 billion. This amount is nearly 15 times greater than the adjusted budget of the former Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) in 1986 and 24 percent greater than the combined fiscal 2012 budgets of all other principal criminal federal law enforcement agencies: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Secret Service, US Marshall Services, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

This report will have a role to play in the larger illegal immigration debate. Doris Miessner, who wrote the report for MPI, said to the Washington Post shortly after the report was published, “Enforcement alone — no matter how well administered — is an insufficient answer to the broad challenges that illegal and legal immigration pose for America’s future.”

With bi-partisan support appearing to back some sort of comprehensive immigration reform plan, the state of current immigration enforcement becomes a central issue. Many liberals will try and claim that the border is already sufficiently secured, and therefore so-called amnesty should be applied immediately to all those in the country illegally in the country right now. That side has been buoyed with the release of the MPI report, and thus, its veracity should be of critical concern.

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  • davarino

    See, what you do is take all this money that you say is used for X and do nothing with that money. Yaaa, problem solved. Its like all the "Stimulous" money, it vaporized and was used for WTF.

    My question is this. With all this corruption in our government, why arent the Republicans screaming at the top of their lungs, every day, every hour. What is their strategy? Have they been infiltrated, or are they letting the dems screw things up so bad that the American people will wake up. Pain is more persuasive than argument. I just hope we can recover from this nightmare

    • John

      Because the Soviets & their fellow travelers infected the university going back decades.

      The journalism school graduates are too stupid to realize that they were hand fed.

      The media is a powerful enemy of any opponent of the Democrat Party.

    • ali

      You're right. Look at the Morton Memo. All those boots on the ground yet they're being told, on pain of being fired, not to detain or deport most illegal aliens.

  • John

    Rush Limbaugh gave the correct assessment of Obama's strategy.

    Obama has to be seen not governing.

    Therefore all bad news will not be attributable to him. Further he can rail against forces against him for electoral purposes. The Obama team with his blessing leaked the White House Illegal immigration strategy. There was already a Democrat proposal out there. The leak was meant to derail the negotiations. Therefore Obama can complain in the midterm election of 2014 that it is the Republican's fault & defeat them at the ballot box.

    Obama would rather defeat the Republican's than giove amnesty sooner.

    The golf trip was fun, mutual admiration, and most importantly gave Obama plausible deniability about the White House leak to the low information voter.

    After all how could Obama leaked the WhiteHouse proposal, he was golfing with Tiger Woods.

    • Mary Sue

      oh yes, the Mysterious Powerful Forces.

      If Obama thought he could get away with it he'd be blaming the Jews.

  • bluffcreek1967

    There is no ‘immigration reform’ – the Democrats and Republicans won’t allow it. There are also too many Americans who are asleep and preoccupied with sports and entertainment. Therefore, the US will be soon be even more flooded with hordes of Mexicans and other third-world immigrants. The majority race in this land (whites) will be dispossessed and they will be aliens in their own land!

    This is what multiculturalism, political-correctness and foolish guilt-ridden whites have done to us. We are at a place where it cannot be reversed without much bloodshed and many tears. But Americans have neither the collective will to fight back nor the awareness to see what danger we are in. This will not end pretty.

  • criminalinvaders

    So called "comprehensive immigration reform" = amnesty for probably up to 40+ million illegals when it's all said and done. This is demographic warfare, plain and simple.

    The absolutely, positively, honest to God final amnesty EVER was passed in 1986 and signed into law by Ronald Reagan (something he wrote he later regretted). Boy, did the American people get screwed but good with that one. What we've had is one corrupt and treasonous regime after another who have failed to give us what Reagan promised; a secure border and strict enforcement in the workplace and elsewhere. The worst regime so far is that of tin pot dictator Comrade ObaMao. This cr*p has got to stop. Meanwhile these lousy invaders need to be arrested when encountered and deported promptly. Any invader who wants legal residency needs to go to the back of the line. The back of the line starts in their home countries, not here. I say build a wall and deport 'em all.

  • Drakken

    No Amnesty period! Not now ! Not Ever! If the politicians go for amnesty, let them know your displeasure at every event they turn up at, they can't arrest everyone.

  • 11bravo

    If I were Boehner, I would rope a dope dingy Harry into a senate vote on immigration, and/or gun control early next year. Maybe even have a house vote too!
    The Tea Party candidates could use the juicy sound bites for their midterm political ads.

  • Bobby

    The sign above, held by the young and arrogant illegal alien woman, is predictive of what will happen. It reads, NO COMPRIMISE,ETC. These illegal aliens, especially from Mexico, believe that this is their country anyway, and contrary to what our worthless and traitorous politicians like John McCain and Lindsay Graham say, they are not here to work only. They are here to TAKE-OVER. They are here to steal American's resources, they are here to steal their jobs, (do we need thrity million people to pick lettuce?) they are here to usurp, exploit, and steal Americans money through the communist Democrats redistritbution of wealth, from the middle class struggling American citizen. The rich here won't be affected. They have a million and one loopholes to protect their money. Illegal immigration and massive Legal IMMIGRATION, is tearing this nation apart and Washington could not give a rats a– about any of it.Good luck American citizen. I live in California, which is already a satelite of Mexico, as anyone who has lived in this state for any length of time knows. BUT IT'S COMING YOUR WAY WITH A VENGEANCE. Take another look at the sign she's holding above, I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOW, PERIOD!!

  • Bobby

    McCain was at a Townhall meeting with people in his state of Arizona. (I actually give him credit for this, because Pelosi called citizens who wanted to meet with her NAZI'S)
    Well to show you how pro-illegal immigration the worlthless news media in this country is, which is largely LEFTIST, they characterized the meeting McCain had with citizens(you know "citizens")as one in which "hostile" questions were asked. What!!!! What!!! Since when is a question "hostile". A "hostile" question compared to what?, A "friendly" question? Stupid media

  • larry

    PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AGAINST AN AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS!

    WHY SIGNING THIS PETITION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS!

    While every petition, fax, email and phone call against the amnesty is important, signing this petition is by far the most important single thing one of your friends or relatives can do.

    The reason is that signing this petition puts a person into an email system at NumbersUSA that will alert them every time one of their elected officials needs to hear something specific about immigration. Nobody else but NumbersUSA runs a customized grassroots mobilization system like this that constantly gathers information on Capitol Hill about your Members of Congress and then lets you know what they are doing, saying and thinking about immigration policy.

    The New York Times and other mass media have repeatedly stated that NumbersUSA's mobilization network led the efforts that defeated the close-call amnesty efforts of 2007 and 2010. But the forces for open borders are far more powerful today. Please help by passing along this Petition to everybody you know.
    https://www.numbersusa.com/sendfax?id=14372

  • Nanis

    The only reason why they dont see a lot of immigration heading to the US is because now they are arriving with visas and they are staying here after their visas expire. Back then very few people got visas because when you live in a third world country if they see you and they like you they gave you a visa if not they would send you home no matter what. Now is very easy to get one.

  • cynthia curran

    The only reason why they dont see a lot of immigration heading to the US is because now they are arriving with visas and they are staying here after their visas expire. Back then very few people got visas because when you live in a third world country if they see you and they like you they gave you a visa if not they would send you home no matter what. Now is very easy to get one.

    This is treu we need a national E-Verify system.

  • Arlie

    Don't click on above link……your network will crash. Post reported.