Saturday, August 4, 2012

Missing the Point - Again

The AP sent around a news story yesterday about ICE detention facilities.  The takeaway message included:
  • Private companies are housing most of the illegal aliens awaiting trial/deportation
  • This incarceration is expensive
  • The government hasn’t really compared actual costs
  • These private prison companies donate to politicians

Source link:

But the illegal alien incarceration problem is merely a symptom of the bigger problem, one the AP failed to report on.  At issue are the following politically-motivated factors:

1)     Our government chose to use private prisons rather than build or use government facilities.  For example, the Thomson Illinois prison has had capacity for years, yet it has become a Senator Dick Durbin football.  Washington has chosen not to build new federal detention centers for illegal aliens.
2)     Sharing the load is rented space from county jails around the country, making them dependent on the federal gravy train.
3)     The immigration court system is a protracted mess, working harder at granting amnesty than quickly deporting people who are unlawfully present.  This all takes time and appeals...and bed space for long periods of time.
4)     Obama in particular has championed the cause of comfort for these prisoners.  Dance lessons, cooking classes and family visits all add to the cost of incarceration.  And they have free medical care.  I don’t.
5)     Private industry has learned not to warehouse parts for the factory.  The Just-in-time concept of managing the factory has become a necessary science.  Somehow government just doesn’t get it. 

In short, we need more beds, swifter deportation, a tougher immigration court and stronger interior enforcement.  Our current “strategies” will not solve the detention bed problem.

It is clear from this problem that government does not understand the concept of opportunity costs.

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