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The Economic Impacts of Long-Term Immigration Detention in Southern California

  • Author(s): Patler, Caitlin
  • et al.
Abstract

In 2013, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained over 477,000 immigrants at a cost of over $2 billion (or $161 per detainee, per day). Today, more than 33,000 immigrants are held in ICE custody on any given day.  These numbers indicate a sharp expansion in immigration detention.  

The Economic Impacts of Long-Term Immigration Detention in Southern California, a new IRLE report by Caitlin Patler, shows that detention of immigrants for 6 months or longer places severe strains on their families.  Lost wages from the Immigrant Detention Study sample of 562 detainees-a small fraction of the total detainee population-totaled an estimated $12 million.  More than two-thirds of detainee families include at least one citizen or Lawful Permanent Residence. Detention is creating an economic crisis for immigrant communities. Long-term immigration detention is creating an economic crisis for immigrant communities, which impacts the economic status of not only individual detainees, but of entire households.  

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