Immigration Newsletter

Monday, March 31, 2014

COMMENTARY: The tragedy of America's failed immigration system | Religion News Service

COMMENTARY: The tragedy of America's failed immigration system | Religion News Service



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The United States loves data, but I hope it won’t be judged by its damning statistics:
  • The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has deported close to 2 million people in the past five years, an average of more than 400,000 persons a year. How many families were wrenched apart?
  • The U.S. Office of Management and Budget reports that the budget for the U.S. Border Patrol has increased tenfold since 1993, from $363 million to $3.5 billion. Given that the undocumented population has tripled since 1986 to 11 to 12 million people today, by economic standards that’s a pretty weak return on investment.
  • The Department of Homeland Security reports that as of February 2014, almost 700 miles of pedestrian and vehicle fencing has been completed along the U.S.-Mexico border. Perhaps that’s a boon for the confinement industry.
  • The Congressional Research Service reports that 208,939 unauthorized immigrants were prosecuted as criminals under Operation Streamline from 2005 to the end of fiscal year 2012. They are sentenced in “group” trials that provide apprehended immigrants few legal rights. Aren’t guaranteed legal rights one of the hallmarks of our democracy?
  • In fiscal year 2012, the Department of Homeland Security incarcerated more than 477,000 people, a record. Yet since 2003, about 2.5 million immigrants have been detained in the U.S. detention system. Surely they did not comprise 2.5 million threats to the U.S.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Photo courtesy Bob Roller, Catholic News Service

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Photo courtesy Bob Roller, Catholic News Service
The data shows that our nation’s effort to cope with undocumented persons does not work. It is costly, most especially, I fear, for the soul of a nation.
(Sister Mary Ann Walsh is the director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.)
KRE/AMB END WALSH



































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