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Public Statements

Coburn Amendments Curbing Illegal Immigration Approved

Location: Washington, DC

Coburn Amendments Curbing Illegal Immigration Approved

One Proposal Could Free Up Millions Now Spent Imprisoning Illegal Criminal Immigrants in Oklahoma

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) praised the passage of two amendments he offered to illegal immigration legislation in the Senate Judiciary Committee. One amendment would make it easier for federal immigration officials to deport illegal criminal immigrants currently jailed in the United States. The other amendment would nearly double the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents within two years.

"Tolerating illegal immigration in this country undermines the rule of law and threatens our national security. Knowing that, it is disconcerting to hear that the federal government spends billions of dollars each year to jail illegal criminal immigrants rather than deporting them," Dr. Coburn said. "Those resources could be better spent on technology and manpower to secure our borders."

At nearly $26,000 per inmate, the total federal cost of illegal immigrant incarceration is more than $1.3 billion per year. This total does not reflect the billions spent by state and local governments on illegal immigrant incarceration. In Oklahoma, the state spends more than $11.7 million on illegal immigrant incarceration.

The second Coburn amendment shortened the time frame - from five years to two years -of a proposal to double the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents by more than 10,000.

"We have the technology to secure our borders but politicians have lacked the will to do so for some time," Dr. Coburn said. "Through increased agents and patrols along the border, we can stem the flow of illegal immigration."


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