Immigration control has become the federal government's highest criminal law enforcement priority, according to a new report by the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute. The report found that the Obama administration spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement last year. That's more than all of the Justice Department's law enforcement agencies combined — including the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In an interview with WNYC's Amy Eddings, freelance reporter Sasha Chavkin explains how the growing immigration enforcement system effects New York City.
He says the report show what a behemoth the immigration enforcement system has become, and not just in cost.
“Immigration enforcement agencies now refer more cases to courts for prosecution than all of the justice department’s law enforcement agencies combined,” he said. “And a lot of that has been spent on deportations.”
He noted the last two years have had record deportation numbers.
But, he added, New York City has been going in the different directions. “The number of people removed from New York City went down,” he said.
Listen to the full interview above.