|For Immediate Release
October 25, 2010
Contact: Kimberly Smith
ICE Abuse of 287(g) Funds Unacceptable
Washington, D.C. – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today issued the following statement in response to a Department of Homeland Security Inspector General (IG) report which found inadequate documentation of expenditures for 287(g) programs. According to the report, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials spent an estimated $6,329 per person for travel by 72 individuals for 15 reviews of agencies across the country. The IG’s office calculated its own estimate for reasonable spending for these trips, including lodging, airfare and per diem rates. Their estimate came to $2,300 per person. Congress provided ICE with $11.1 million in taxpayer funds to ensure that 287(g) programs are in compliance with federal guidelines.
Ranking Member Smith: “According to the IG’s report, ICE cannot ‘ensure the integrity and accountability over 287(g) program resources.’ Such inadequate and sloppy documentation of expenses by ICE officials is unacceptable. Congress entrusts these civil servants with taxpayer dollars and we expect those funds to be used judiciously and with restraint. It appears that ICE officials have abused their authority when it comes to 287(g) funds and an immediate accounting before Congress is necessary. There are an estimated 20 requests for 287(g) programs pending before ICE. DHS officials claim that they do not have sufficient funds to meet the needs for 287(g) programs nationwide. Perhaps the lack of funds is due to ICE officials’ abuse of taxpayer dollars granted for this very purpose.
“287(g) programs are critical to the enforcement of federal immigration laws. They allow state and local law enforcement officials to receive training so they can assist in the enforcement of immigration laws. We must ensure that federal funds are not squandered by government agencies instead of being directed to law enforcement communities that can help enforce our immigration laws.”