The Department of Homeland Security is required by law to incarcerate on average 34,000 suspected illegal immigrants every night, regardless of whether DHS deems their lockup necessary. Reuters politics and money correspondent Andy Sullivan reports that this quota likely will survive congressional efforts at comprehensive immigration reform.
Every night the federal government locks at 34000 people were believed to be in the United States who didn't leave her facing deportation. And the interesting thing here is that unlike other jail or detention programs were -- build a prison and say okay. And Hitler committing crimes that's anything with Monica there's sort of doing it backwards. Under orders from congress federal agents must fill up 34000 -- it every night. Some of these people do have criminal records and so I've recently need to be kept in secure facilities but about. Half of the people who were deported last year had no criminal record whatsoever. Some people say why should we be blocking in the outfield and basically ordered jail. Started in about 2006. When Democrats were in charge of congress and the Bush Administration. Had just changed its detention policies it was moving from a policy of catch and release where you catch somebody say -- come back in a month they're going to be hearing. Which obviously didn't work very -- because people just wouldn't return for the hearings that. So they needed to change that and they decided they needed a lot more people out. And that number has steadily increased over the years in this gets really expensive it costs a 164. Dollars to lock -- one person per night it's gonna come to about two point eight billion dollars this year which is more than doubled how much it would. Listen back in 2006. In critics say that. Well what we need to managing to this number why should Homeland Security just be able to manage its population we've -- fit. For example if you put an ankle bracelet on and require them to polonium once today that's a lot cheaper that's anywhere between thirty cents -- they're fourteen dollars today. And in an air we have a shrinking budgets and fewer people coming across the border from Mexico where we hear that question. Why we need to have this sort of gratuitously tough policies please. So a big beneficiary of this policy are private prison companies like the Corrections Corp. of America and if you group which handle about half of all immigrant detainees. And they say they don't lobby directly on immigration policy. But they are big players that you donate hundreds of thousands of dollars every. And they spend more than a million dollars or so -- behavior so they definitely have a big presence in Washington. But I think the big take away here is that we're debating these huge changes in immigration law. But this policy wouldn't change no matter --