Serving The Immigration Needs Of The San Diego Area Since 1984

The price to pay for detaining immigrants

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2016 | Immigration Detention

Their home in Haiti is beset with immense problems that include natural disasters (a hurricane and earthquake), crime, corruption, gangs and violence. But the Haitians who arrive at the San Diego border and ask officials for asylum quickly find themselves held in detention centers.

The price they pay in human terms is enormous, but the price paid by American taxpayers hurts as well, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It currently sets taxpayers back $379,380 a day to detain immigrants in holding facilities, the newspaper says. And the cost could go up as the numbers of immigrants increases.

immigrantion and Customs Enforcement officials say about 3,000 Haitians are in detention facilities scattered across the nation. The cost is pegged at $126 per bed per day, the Department of Homeland Security says.

San Diego’s Otay Mesa facility has 696 such beds. That means that when the facility is full, the tab hits $87,696 every single day. In a month’s time, the bill hits $2,630,880 for just the facility here.

The monthly cost is more than $11 million for the 3,000 Haitian detainees nationally, the paper reports.

For some time after the 2010 earthquake, Haitians seeking asylum were given ankle monitors and allowed to remain in the U.S. until they were to appear in immigrantion courts. But with an increase in the number of Haitian arrivals, DHS has resumed the deportation process.

The Miami Herald recently reported that at least 70 detainees were deported to Haiti and that more deportations are scheduled.

Many observers worry that the country has not recovered sufficiently from Hurricane Matthew and the 2010 quake for the resumption of removals.

Those who face detention and deportation can speak with a San Diego immigrantion attorney experienced in deportation defense.