Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Following the 287(g) money

I guess I shouldn’t be so disappointed. Even the experts don’t know for sure.

I was trying to determine the year-to-year federal budget for 287(g), the partnership between ICE and local law enforcement.

It should be easy. There should be a chart showing previous year, current year, and proposed budget for next year. Something like this from the DHS Budget Book for 2006: If I want to know what Federal Air Marshals cost from year-to-year, I look at the chart provided by Homeland Security

But there is no such chart for 287(g), at least not that I could find. But I did find these authoritative statements from experts:

Statement 1
“In the last three years, the 287(g) program’s budget has increased from $5 million to $60
Congressman Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Statement 2
“In fiscal years 2006-2008, ICE received about $60 million to train, supervise, and equip program participants.” Government Accountability Office (GAO) report 09-109.

Of course, it isn’t easy. It all depends on how you account for it. For example, some numbers include the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) where 287(g) agencies call to verify immigration status. But that center also services many other agencies including the ICE CAP officer program, IAQ, and various other federal, state, and local departments.

My point is that we ought not pay too much attention to the MILLIONS of dollars being quoted at these hearings. They are quoted only to prove a point and as they say, “liars figure.”

So, here’s the best I could do:
Obama’s Budget for 2010
“not less than $5,400,000 shall be used to facilitate agreements consistent with section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1357(g))”

2009 ICE budget fact sheet
“State and Local Law Enforcement Support……$14.2M”

ICE 2008 and 2007 (Press release)
“The 287(g) program is named after the section of law under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that authorizes ICE to train local officers to enforce immigration law. The 287(g) program received more than $42 million for training and other associated costs under the current fiscal year 2008 budget - up from just over $15 million the program received in 2007.”

2007 ICE budget fact sheet
“• State and Local.........................................$4,326”

So, here’s the SWAG:
2006: $5 million
2007: $15 million
2008: $42 million
2009: $14.2 million
2010: $5.4 million (proposed by the White House)

Now, try to square that with the statement on May 6, 2009 by the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano:
“DHS also has continued to expand its partnerships with state and local law enforcement under the 287(g) program, which gives specially trained officers authorization to perform immigration enforcement duties under the supervision of ICE agents and officers.”
“We are expanding our efforts to identify, arrest and deport criminal and fugitive aliens.
We are working on improving the 287g program so we continue to work effectively with proper guidance and oversight with our state and local partners.”

How can you possibly expand a program when you keep cutting the funding for it?

Well, you can’t. The program is written into law, agencies are waiting for it, and the bureaucrats withhold it from us by underfunding.

ICE can continue to set out decoys like “ICE ACCESS” and “Secure Communities” to appease the citizens, but neither of the programs mentioned are written into law.

How can we expect illegal aliens to obey the law when those who are paid to enforce it ignore the law themselves?

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