The Migration Policy Institute Monday released a report on immigration enforcement in the United States. It finds that the United States spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other principle law enforcement agencies combined. As of FY 2011, the United States spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement, nearly 15 times the spending level in 1986 when the Immigration Reform and Control Act was enacted. This discussion, hosted by the Migration Policy Institute looked at how U.S. enforcement programs have evolved as President Obama plans to push for immigration reform.
The President, citing a lack of action by Congress, announced last year that his administration would allow illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and had graduated from high school to remain in the country for several years, opening up opportunities for states to offer tuition breaks and scholarships to those young immigrants.
Additionally, with growing attention to Latino voters, who see immigration issues as important, it is likely that Congress will take up some type of immigration reform bill in the coming year. Republicans, who lost much of the national Latino vote, have stated publicly that they know they need to find a way to become a more inclusive party, and immigration reform, already supported by a number of border-state Republicans, may be a key issue.