Taxpayers in the United States have been paying more than $300,000 each and every day to send illegals back to their home countries via commercial flights and private jets, the Daily Mail Online found, in an exclusive investigation of 2015 statistics.
By the numbers: Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent a total of $116 million in 2015 to fly 235,413 back home, more than 40 percent of whom had been convicted of crimes while in the United States. Another 1,000 of those had been identified by officials as members of gangs, the newspaper found, via a Freedom of Information Act request for documents.
And as ICE told the Daily Mail, the average cost to taxpayers in 2015 to identify an illegal, apprehend and detain him or her, and then process each through court for removal was $12,213. The actual removal alone cost for one illegal, including ground and air fare, was $1,962.
ICE used either commercial or private jets to fly the illegals home, the Daily Mail reported. And the waste was so egregious that at one point, the feds paid for a twin-engine commercial jet with seats for 261 to fly a single illegal back to Nigeria, the newspaper said.
Part of the expense came from the fact feds had to use private planes for “high-risk charters” on 34 different occasions, an action that required the hiring of several security officers for each flight, the Daily Mail said.
“This is insane,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. “This is an outrageous and unacceptable waste of tax dollars. There is absolutely zero justification for spending this amount of money deporting immigrants. DHS needs to find a more efficient way to do this. Somebody at DHS should be held accountable for this. This type of wasteful spending is why the American people have such a high level of skepticism and cynicism about government.”
He went on, the Daily Mail reported: “Leave it to the government to take a relatively simple task and make it complicated and expensive.”
Other findings from the Daily Mail’s report: The countries of record for most of the illegals were Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Ninety-one percent of “all interior removals” were individuals previously convicted of crimes. And 59 percent of all ICE deportations, or 139,368, were previously convicted of crimes.