2003 August 18 Monday
Ankle Bracelets To Reduce Cost Of Holding Illegal Aliens

The most amazing thing about this article about a plant to use ankle bracelets to track illegal aliens awaiting deportation is the current cost of holding illegal aliens in prison runs into the billions per year.

On average, 190,000 illegal immigrants are held in detention every day. The cost to jail each one is more than $53,000 a year. The cost of the bracelet not including the undetermined amount of monitoring fees is $3.18. The comparative annual cost would be a minimum of $570,000 for the bracelets, or more than $10 billion for detention.

The $53,000 per year times 190,000 illegals being held at any one time does multiply out to $10.07 billion. That is an astounding figure. We could build a wall along the border of Mexico for far less money than we spend per year on illegal alien detention. As fewer illegals made it into the United States the resulting gradual reduction in the number of illegal aliens being held for detention would by itself pay for the cost of the wall. Of course, reductions in spending on medical care, welfare benefits, and other costs due to illegal aliens would be in addition to the savings from detention costs. Plus, there would be additional savings from reductions in the legal costs of lawyers, judges, and court workers incurred from holding court deportation proceedings.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 August 18 11:03 AM  Immigration Law Enforcement

Amy Morales-Garcia said at July 7, 2004 6:34 PM:

Yes the cost to house illegal immigrants is huge. When an illegal immigrant comes into this country and are caught they are usually charged with federal felony offenses. Instead of charging them why not give them the opportunity to live the so called "American Dream". On average it costs between 3 and 4 thousand dollars to go through the immigration process. Well if we detain 190,000 a year then our government could generate at least $570,000,000 in fees per year.

Randall Parker said at July 7, 2004 8:50 PM:

Amy, It would be a lot cheaper to just deport them. The cost per year in giving them medical care alone far exceeds what they pay in taxes. Letting them in costs the rest of us money because lower income people generate far more in government costs (education for kids, police, legal system, etc) than they pay in taxes.

AJ Neupane said at March 2, 2005 11:27 AM:

Is this what America has come down to? Civil liberty in this coutnry is declining fast in land of oppertunity and freedom that once it was, folks!!! I completely agree that coming here without visa and/or overstaying is illegal. I will even go as far as saying that, no we should not give "oppertunity to live" to people who are illegal(as Amy suggests above) beacuse it will only promote more illigal immigartion. But Tagging human being like animals!!! c'mon. This is where we have to look at the motive for breakling the law, which is, in nine out of ten times to have a better life for themsleves and their children, and make legal reprecautions more humane. Do tag (keep them in sackels even) aliens that are criminal. But people enetering illegaly and ovestaying to do minimal jobs that nobody wanted does not warrant such treament. Deport them at next available flight back to where they came from and hear/deal with their cases from their home country if you fear that they will go in hiding during the appeal and you need to tag them because of that.

One Legal Alien said at March 2, 2005 1:21 PM:

Does this sound familiar folks? Does this sound like the jews were forced to wear that sign on their clothes to be identified by the nazis? Does this sound like nazi procedure?
YES it does, I'm sorry. I am a legal "alien", I have a green card but this is far beyond I imagined about America and wanted to became a citizen of this country. I even have a daughter born here in the states, which makes her american citizen. Not so excited to get citizenship anymore, thinking to apply for citizenship for my daughter in the country I'm comming from and renounce the american citizenship for her.
If things are getting worse in this country, I'll probably consider moving/returning back to my country.

Just a question for the mastermind of this procedure/technique -- how would you like americans tagged like animals when they go into another country/continent to live there -- be it China, Indonesia, Africa, Australia....etc?
I'm sure you wouldn't like it, would you?

So sorry.

Randall Parker said at March 2, 2005 1:32 PM:


Tagging treats humans like animals? Well, I'd rather be tagged than in a jail cell getting raped by a cellmate. Prisons treat humans pretty brutally.

However, you are right. We should just deport them immediately.

Randall Parker said at March 2, 2005 1:34 PM:

One Legal Alien,

If Americans go to live in other places and do so illegally they will be jailed or thrown out. If they go legally they will not be tagged or jailed.

As for your returning to your country: Please do. We have enough people here already.

AJ Neupane said at March 7, 2005 11:16 AM:

Uh....Mr Parker I am going to have to disagree with you here about having "enough people" here in US. Lets take a look at population density shall we? In terms of people/per sq. Km, I know I know ........you don't deal with Kilometers here in US, it's miles. So just remember 1 Sq. Km is about .3861 Square Mile and lets take a look at statistics.

Netherlands - 385
England - 245
Germany - 230
Italy - 191
Switzerland - 176
Luxembourg - 173 (by the way this country has the highest per Capita income in the world, much more than US)
France - 107
Spain - 78

Add the US.....................drum roll please...........................................................................


Yes 29.

Approximately same density as Brazil, most of which we know is covered with rain forest. And with the size of US, which is largest among above, can take a lot more before it reaches even to a half of Spain's population density. I was going to calculate how many immigrant would it take to reach the population density from 29 to 39 but won't bother. I am sure it will be in millions. So if you are scared that we are going to run out of room to drive our ATVs and snowmobiles or not have enough land for 17,000 golf courses, don't worry. Few hundred thousand immigrants coming to US every year looking to flip burgers, attend gas stations, drive cabs and clean floors won't take up our space any time soon. Now would they??

Randall Parker said at March 7, 2005 11:58 AM:


Yes, people don't want to live in tropical jungles or in extreme cold. The desirable places to live are already getting very crowded.

Why would we want to subject ourselves to a population that is half as dense as Spain's?

As for crowded high per capita income places in the US: They have very expensive housing. I live on a street that has $1 million 3 bedroom houses. These are not big houses. Maybe 2000 sq ft.

Why would we want to subject ourselves to immigrants that can only flip burgers and clean floors? They do not get paid enough money to pay for their own health care or the education of their kids. The rest of us have to subsidize them thru taxes. We could profitably use more engineers and scientists. But we suffer a net harm from having more low skilled immigrants.

The Hispanic immigrants specifically create a number of problems for Americans. Hispanics are very poorly educated when they arrive, do not rise scholastically to American average levels over successive generations (and, generally speaking, immigrants quickly reach the level of scholastic achievement that their group will stay at in later generations, earn lower incomes (and hence pay less in taxes than they receive in benefits), have kids illegitimately at higher rates, and commit crimes at higher rates (and also see here).

susan said at November 14, 2009 8:41 PM:

Why don't all you closed minded people open your eyes and take a close look at your family tree!! where do you think your ancestors came from, because i'm 100% sure they were not from america. Probably at least your great grandparents migrated from another country, so while you saying all these inhumane things about "illegal aliens", why don't you stop and thank your family members for risking there lives and freedom for comming here, (and i'm sure they were not all legal) because if it wasn't for them none of us would even be here! i'm tired of this country, we used to be the land of freedom and oppurtunity, now it's all about the dollar, it's disgusting, sometimes i don't blame half the world for hating this country, i am almost ashamed to call myself an american

Bob Badour said at November 15, 2009 8:41 AM:


Yes, our ancestors came here and displaced the people who were here at that time. Perhaps we should learn the lesson that teaches: Don't get displaced by colonists from other countries.

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