CA Spends $1 Billion a Year to Jail Undocumented Immigrants

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According to data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from December 2010, just under 17,000 inmates in the state are on hold for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and in addition, there are just under 4,000 prisoners listed as potential ICE holds.

At a cost of almost $45,000 a year to house an inmate, that’s a cost of nearly $1 billion to house the undocumented immigrants.

The immigrants detained at the time of the data primarily hail from Mexico – 15,985 total (14,057 undocumented), followed by El Salvador, with 1,231 inmates (1,118 undocumented).

Once undocumented immigrants serve their time in jail, they are turned over to ICE where they await a hearing that determines whether or not they will be deported.