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Biden admin cancels fines for illegal immigrants who refuse to leave the country

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President Biden’s Department of Homeland Security has done away with orders that demand fines be collected from illegal immigrants who refuse to leave the United States.

“There is no indication that these penalties promoted compliance with noncitizens’ departure obligations”

DHS Secretary Mayorkas

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas rescinded two orders that called for financial punishments, according to a Tweet issued by DHS on Twitter.

The orders, titled ICE Delegation No. 006-2020, “Delegation of Authority to Administer Certain Provisions Relating to Civil Penalties for Failure to Depart,” were put in place during the Trump Administration.

Moreover, the DHS said it was the opposite of the “agency’s best interests.”

“There is no indication that these penalties promoted compliance with noncitizens’ departure obligations,” Mayorkas said. “We can enforce our immigration laws without resorting to ineffective and unnecessary punitive measures.”

“Today, at the direction of Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rescinded two delegation orders related to the collection of civil financial penalties for noncitizens who fail to depart the U.S., stating they run counter to the agency’s best interest,” reads the press release.

The release said the agency stopped issuing fines on Inauguration Day.

“Although ICE has had the authority to assess financial penalties to individuals for failing to depart for more than 20 years, the agency did not initiate enforcement of these penalties until 2018.  As of January 20, 2021, ICE ceased issuing these fines. This formalizes the Biden Administration’s change in direction,” the release said.

Read the full press release and article here.

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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