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The Cost of Crimmigration: Exploring the Intersection Between Criminal Justice and Immigration

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In Category : Policing, Criminal Justice Reform, Racial Equity

Among heightened, negative rhetoric around immigration issues, current federal programs seek to entice localities to form immigration enforcement partnerships with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in exchange for additional federal funding. However, the cost to local jurisdictions when they partner with DHS goes well beyond what few dollars a community might get from the federal government, and often increases the already high criminal justice expenses localities are currently paying.

In The Costs of Crimmigration: Exploring the Intersection Between Criminal Justice and Immigration, JPI highlights the mounting costs federal immigration policies have on local taxpayers through additional law enforcement deployment, increased spending on jail beds, lawsuits from residents, and losses to the labor force when noncitizens are removed from the community. While costing counties and cities more, immigration enforcement also undermines public safety as residents fear interacting with local law enforcement, and policing resources are deployed away from more effective crime prevention and enforcement activities.

Read JPI’s interactive flipbook to learn more about how the negative financial and social impacts of federal immigration enforcement are much more significant than currently understood.




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While all estimates, inferences, and characterizations of information in the document are the sole responsibility of JPI, we would like to acknowledge the following reviewers for giving us feedback and improving the document:

  • Phil Torrey, Managing Attorney, The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, Harvard University
  • Hadi Sedigh, Associate Legislative Director, Justice & Public Safety, Large Urban County Caucus, National Association of Counties
  • Emily Tucker, Senior Staff Attorney for Immigrant Rights, Center for Popular Democracy
  • , The Sentencing Project, March 2017

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