US immigration enforcement program under investigation
United States, 28th October: The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement department is facing charges of having lost track of its spending.
Its being alleged that a total of $11.1 million was provided to the US ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in the year 2009 and 2010 for 287(g) program meant for enforcement of immigration laws by local law enforcement officials.
But, when the inspectors tried to know the details of the expenditure, there was no account available for the huge expenditures, the report issued last Friday maintains.
As per the inspector general of the US Homeland Security Department, no documents providing back up of expenditure was available.
The officials of the ICE program gave varying explanations regarding the missing data concerning payroll, staffing and other related expenses debited against funds of the 287(g) program, stated assistant inspector general for inspections, Carlton Mann.
The ICE stated a total of $455,649 towards travel and transportation of things. The spending was for government officers to visit various local agencies in order to ensure that they were abiding by the standards of the program while enforcing rules relating to US visas and illegal immigration.
Although the expenditure averages to around $6,329 per person for travel by 72 persons involving 15 reviews of agencies located not within driving distance of Washington. However, investigating officials reveal that total costs including lodging, airfare and per diem rates average out to $2300 per person.
The inspector general also maintained that total cost had increased to $68.3 million for the year 2011.
Although, the ICE has reviewed the spending of its 287(g) program and also taken requisite steps to have required backup documents concerning spending, but the problem still is open and not resolved yet.
Official spokeswoman of ICE Gillian Brigham said the findings of the report are being reviewed and the department will respond after the completion of the review.
The 287(g) program had received harsh criticism from the office of the inspector general in the earlier two reports and had asked for several amendments.
Moreover, the program came under attack from immigration advocates who argued that it had resulted in racial profiling by local officials who were allowed to make arrests or take into custody people believed to be involved to be illegal immigrants.
The supporters assert that the immigration officers are given additional manpower through the program.