The Cost of Crimmigration

The Cost of Crimmigration: Exploring the Intersection Between Criminal Justice and Immigration

The Cost of Crimmigration: Exploring the Intersection Between Criminal Justice and Immigration


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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Cost</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

Exploring the Intersection Between<br />

<strong>Crimmigration</strong><br />

Criminal Justice and Immigration<br />


ABOUT<br />

According to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, every<br />

county in the United States has some involvement with the<br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration<br />

enforcement efforts. However, the cost to taxpayers when<br />

local governments “partner” with DHS goes well beyond<br />

what few dollars a community might get from the federal<br />

government and <strong>of</strong>ten exceeds expected criminal justice<br />

expenses. <strong>Crimmigration</strong> has led to significant increases in<br />

local spending on incarceration, an additional burden on city<br />

and county taxpayers. Communities lose valuable workers<br />

who are needed in vital parts <strong>of</strong> the local economy, which<br />

lose tax revenue when immigrants are ensnared in the system<br />

for minor immigration violations. Cities and counties also<br />

face potential lawsuits due to complications resulting from<br />

enforcing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)<br />

policies. All these costs are paid for by local taxpayers, with<br />

little to no reimbursement by the federal government.


What is <strong>Crimmigration</strong>?<br />

Impact on Local Communities<br />

<strong>Cost</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Crimmigration</strong><br />

<strong>Cost</strong> <strong>of</strong> Non-citizen Detention<br />

Public Safety<br />

Immigration Enforcement Programs<br />

Legal Liability<br />

Punishment <strong>of</strong> Sanctuary Cities<br />

Social <strong>Cost</strong>s to Society<br />

Lost Tax Revenue

What is<br />

<strong>Crimmigration</strong><br />

<strong>Crimmigration</strong><br />

A term used by the policy reform community to refer to the intersection<br />

between criminal law and immigration law, where state and local criminal<br />

justice systems have begun to enforce federal immigration <strong>of</strong>fenses and<br />

expand the categories <strong>of</strong> criminal infractions that can incarcerate and<br />

apprehend both authorized and unauthorized non-citizens. <strong>Crimmigration</strong><br />

policies are the newest iteration <strong>of</strong> America’s mass incarceration problem:<br />

even minor citations can make authorized immigrants detainable and<br />

deportable, costing jurisdictions millions <strong>of</strong> dollars annually.<br />

Delegation <strong>of</strong> Immigration Authority Program – or<br />

287(g)<br />

A collaboration between the Department <strong>of</strong> Homeland Security and a city or<br />

county that deputizes law enforcement <strong>of</strong>ficers to enforce federal immigration<br />

laws, on behalf <strong>of</strong> ICE. <strong>The</strong> local <strong>of</strong>ficers have the authority to identify,<br />

process, charge, and detain people believed to be violating immigration law.<br />

State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)<br />

A program that potentially reimburses state and local governments for the cost<br />

<strong>of</strong> holding non-citizens during their criminal proceedings. In recent years,<br />

SCAAP reimbursements covered less than a quarter <strong>of</strong> the total costs, while<br />

funding has continued to drop and is eliminated in President Trump’s<br />

proposed budget.

Impact on<br />

Local<br />

Governments<br />

Cities and counties can become involved in federal immigration<br />

enforcement by establishing a partnership with the Department <strong>of</strong> Homeland<br />

Security under section 287(g) <strong>of</strong> the Immigration Reform and Immigration<br />

Responsibility Act (IRIRA). Involvement in 287(g) programs deputizes local<br />

law enforcement <strong>of</strong>ficers (i.e. local police or Sheriffs) to perform certain<br />

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) functions.<br />

While cities and counties receive a modest amount <strong>of</strong> funding for training<br />

and to assume federal immigration enforcement roles, these federal dollars do<br />

not cover a significant portion <strong>of</strong> the costs associated with immigration<br />

enforcement. <strong>The</strong> remaining, and <strong>of</strong>ten substantial, amount is then borne by<br />

local taxpayers who, in return, see little to no public safety benefit. Under the<br />

current Administration, these partnerships are expected to grow, as are their far-<br />

reaching impacts.<br />

Click to learn more about communities that have already felt the negative<br />

consequences <strong>of</strong> crimmigration involvement.

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Crimmigration</strong><br />

<strong>Cost</strong><br />

Although general law enforcement expenditures<br />

cover a wide spectrum, the United States spends<br />

a staggering amount on immigration enforcement,<br />

with the burden falling heavily on key states.<br />

Nearly 1/3 <strong>of</strong> Immigration Law<br />

Enforcement <strong>Cost</strong>s go to the<br />

top 5 states<br />

Top 5 State Immigration Law<br />

Enforcement <strong>Cost</strong>s<br />

1. California - $1,197,000,000<br />

2. New York - $403,200,000<br />

3. Texas - $366,100,000<br />

4. Florida - $320,700,000<br />

5. Illinois - $238,100,000<br />

Total <strong>Cost</strong> = $3,894,100,000<br />

California (47.40%) New York (15.97%)<br />

Illinois (9.43%)<br />

Texas (14.50%) Florida (12.70%)

<strong>Cost</strong> <strong>of</strong> Non-citizen<br />

Detention<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the major costs related to immigration<br />

enforcement is non-citizen detention. States and<br />

counties must find places to hold non-citizens,<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten for extended periods <strong>of</strong> time.<br />

Over 2/3 <strong>of</strong> Non-citizen Criminal<br />

Detention <strong>Cost</strong>s are borne by<br />

only 5 states<br />

Top 5 State Non-citizen<br />

Criminal Detention <strong>Cost</strong>s<br />

1. California - $721,600,000<br />

2. New York - $174,400,000<br />

3. Arizona - $154,800,000<br />

4. Texas - $149,600,000<br />

5. Florida - $114,400,000<br />

Total <strong>Cost</strong> = $1,857,400,000

50<br />

40<br />

30<br />

20<br />

10<br />

0<br />

Safety<br />

Public<br />

While non-citizens commit crime at lower rates<br />

than natural-born citizens, they face<br />

disproportionate arrest and sentencing rates at<br />

the local, state, and federal levels.<br />

Recent rhetoric about the<br />

relationship between criminal<br />

Percentage <strong>of</strong> Noncitizens<br />

in Total Incarcerated<br />

Population<br />

activity and immigrants is false.<br />

Research shows that non-citizens<br />

commit far less crime than native-<br />

born citizens.<br />

Non-citizens Incarcerated at State and<br />

Federal Levels = 88,248<br />

Federal Criminal Offenses <strong>of</strong><br />

Undocumented Non-citizens<br />

99% <strong>of</strong> the people locked up in the<br />

federal system for immigration<br />

violations were arrested for drug<br />

or immigration <strong>of</strong>fenses. Less than<br />

1% are arrested for<br />


X<br />

X<br />

X<br />

X<br />

X<br />

X<br />

Immigration<br />

Programs<br />

Enforcement<br />

As the burden <strong>of</strong> immigration enforcement falls on<br />

local counties and cities, government programs<br />

promise aid that covers only a fraction <strong>of</strong> the cost.<br />

Completely<br />

Voluntary?<br />

Fully Funded?<br />

Immigration Detainer<br />

Secure Communities<br />

Criminal Alien Program<br />

287(g) Program<br />

State and Local Detention<br />

Contracts with ICE

written request to a law enforcement<br />

a<br />

to hold non-citizens for an additional 48 hours, in order to provide ICE<br />

agency<br />

meaningful opportunity to decide whether to take an individual into federal<br />

a<br />

for potential removal.<br />

custody<br />

Liability<br />

Counties face lawsuits as they hold non-citizens<br />

in detention centers well beyond the 48-hour<br />

Legal<br />

ICE Detainer period.<br />

ICE Detainer (or ICE Hold):<br />

$40,000<br />

<strong>Cost</strong> that Jefferson County, CO was<br />

subjected to during a lawsuit after<br />

holding a man in jail for 47 days on an<br />

ICE Hold.<br />

$724,000<br />

Proposed settlement cost to San Juan<br />

County, NM for illegal holds.<br />

$35,000<br />

<strong>Cost</strong> to Spokane County, WA to settle<br />

with a man who was wrongfully held<br />

without bail for 20 days due to an<br />

ICE Hold.

Sanctuary City: a place designed to limit cooperation with involvement in<br />

Punishment <strong>of</strong><br />

Cities<br />

Sanctuary<br />

While the debate is fluid, the current Administration<br />

threatened to take away funding from cities that do<br />

not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.<br />

federal immigration enforcement through formal and informal policies.<br />

$454/person<br />

<strong>The</strong> average amount <strong>of</strong> lost federal funding for<br />

a family <strong>of</strong> four residing in a sanctuary city.<br />

$3.2 million<br />

<strong>The</strong> amount <strong>of</strong> funding that Chicago will no<br />

longer receive, which goes directly towards<br />

purchasing body-worn cameras for the<br />

Chicago Police Department.<br />

$500 million<br />

<strong>The</strong> amount Mayor de Blasio estimates<br />

New York City taxpayers will have to pay<br />

to make up for lost federal funding.

<strong>Cost</strong> to Society<br />

Social<br />

Immigration enforcement results in many noncitizens<br />

living in fear <strong>of</strong> detention and deportation<br />

after any interaction with police.<br />

Davidson County, TN<br />

participated in the 287(g) program. After seeing<br />

these consequences, they withdrew from the program:<br />

42%<br />

Percentage <strong>of</strong> Latinxs in Davidson<br />

County who said they knew <strong>of</strong> a crime<br />

<strong>of</strong> police involvement.<br />

54%<br />

that has not been reported due to fear<br />

Percentage <strong>of</strong> Latinxs who admitted to not<br />

calling the police, fearing racial pr<strong>of</strong>iling<br />

73%<br />

related to immigration issues.<br />

People in Davidson County who<br />

reported feeling increased apprehension<br />

about police cooperation.<br />

85%<br />

<strong>The</strong> amount <strong>of</strong> Davidson County non-<br />

citizen arrests that are misdemeanors, a<br />

disproportionate impact <strong>of</strong> 287(g).

Tax Revenue<br />

Lost<br />

Along with the costs associated with enforcing<br />

immigration policies, the economy will lose<br />

valuable assets provided by non-citizens.<br />

$11.74B<br />

<strong>The</strong> amount <strong>of</strong> sales, property, and state tax<br />

per year paid by undocumented immigrants.<br />

8 million<br />

<strong>The</strong> number <strong>of</strong> non-citizens contributing<br />

to the workforce.<br />

$551.6B<br />

<strong>The</strong> amount that the country would lose in<br />

economic activity if all unauthorized<br />

immigrants were removed.


Justice Policy Institute (JPI) is a national nonpr<strong>of</strong>it that is dedicated<br />

to reducing the use <strong>of</strong> incarceration and the justice system by<br />

promoting fair and effective policies. JPI staff includes Paul Ashton,<br />

Jeremy Kittredge, Olivia Martinez, Marc Schindler, Jamille<br />

White, Keith Wallington, and Jason Ziedenberg.<br />


Jeremy Kittredge<br />


Amanda Pierson, Mahalia Thomas, Chelsea Voron<strong>of</strong>f<br />


Mahalia Thomas<br />

This flipbook would not have been possible without the generous<br />

support <strong>of</strong> the Open Society Foundation and independent<br />

donors to JPI.

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