As I understand it, the newly announced policy for detention of alien families, is intended to provide a place for these families to stay while awaiting adjudication of their immigration status.

What Acting Secretary McAleenan described as the facilities here obviously will be costly, a cost presumably borne by DHS. What McAleenan doesn't address are the costs (for example, per family per day).

The incarceration or detention of these families appears to be to insure their attendance at hearings or proceedings on their residency status. DHS has claimed that approximately 80% of those required to attend/participate in their adjudication do not appear, so the detention necessary.

The previous administration was faced with a similar problem (non-appearance) that they attempted to solve by Family Case Management used case workers in five U.S. cities to help migrants navigate the immigration court system. The program cost less than $10 a day and had a 99 percent success rate with court appearances and ICE check-ins. ICE cancelled this program claiming it was too costly.

Another alternative to detention of families (who importantly, had no criminal background) was the use of electronic ankle monitoring at $4.12 a day. The ankle monitor program is managed by GEO Care.see here

Without understanding the cost of the newly proposed facilities, it is impossible to understand if it is the most cost-effective way to insure compliance with appearance requirements.

  • 4
    A courtesy of explaining a VTC would be appreciated
    – BobE
    Aug 22, 2019 at 17:00
  • 1
    I don't know about the other close voters, but in my opinion, the first two paragraphs of this question are a good, on-topic, theoretically answerable question, the third doesn't add anything, and the rest is outright detrimental to the question. It doesn't matter whether this new plan is one tenth the cost of the previous administration's policies or ten times as expensive, if you want to find out how much this policy will cost. It's very important to deciding if it's a good or efficient policy, but not to the factual cost. Thus I voted to close as "promoting an agenda".
    – Bobson
    Aug 22, 2019 at 21:02
  • The third and forth paragraphs lends context to the cost of detention or alternatives to detention by way of historical costs to achieve a similar result. Your "promoting an agenda" objection is your speculation about the motives behind the question and you have every right to maintain your theory. But, on the face of it, the question of the cost and subsequently cost comparisons with past programs are valid to assess cost-effectiveness.
    – BobE
    Aug 22, 2019 at 22:10
  • I absolutely agree that current cost and comparisons with past programs are valid and necessary to figure out cost-effectiveness... but you're not asking about cost-effectiveness in the question. "Is this program cost-effective?" is a very different question from "What does this program cost?".
    – Bobson
    Aug 22, 2019 at 22:19
  • Ah, first one needs to know the cost for the new program, the follow on question is how does this program vary in cost and effect. I needed the first question answered to be able to move on to the second ( notice I pointed out that it is impossible to move on until the first question can be answered (even an estimate would be helpful))
    – BobE
    Aug 23, 2019 at 0:10


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