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Latino Daily News

Monday May 2, 2011

Report: Government Spends More Than $1.5 Billion to Jail Undocumented Immigrants

Report: Government Spends More Than $1.5 Billion to Jail Undocumented Immigrants

Photo: Government Spends More Than $1.5 Billion to Jail Undocumented Immigrants

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A new report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has revealed that the federal government spends over $1.5 billion a year detaining undocumented immigrants throughout the country.

The report states that over the past five years, the number of jailed non-U.S. citizens in federal prisons has jumped to 55,000, an increase of 4,000. State prisons have seen an increase of roughly 75,000, for a total of 296,000.

According to the study, since 2001, about 25 percent of the population of federal prisons is made up of undocumented immigrants. Of those, almost 70 percent were born in Mexico. As for state prisons, about 66 percent were born in Mexico. Around 5 percent are from the Dominican Republic, and another 5 percent are from Colombia.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who sits on the House Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security & International Law subcommittee, is now using the study to push for the construction of a wall and fence at the U.S.-Mexico border to stop people from entering the country illegally.

“We have to secure our southern border with a fence, a wall and a fence,” King stated. “That would drastically reduce the ability of criminal aliens to enter the United States, providing needed relief to overburdened state prison systems and to taxpayers. We also have to do a better job of removing criminal aliens who are apprehended.”

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