The federal government paid a “bed rate” of $127.82 per day to house each illegal alien detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in fiscal 2016, according to ICE data published in a new report by the Government Accountability Office.
Even if you do not count the extra day in that leap year, that works out to $46,654.30 for each detention bed occupied by an illegal alien for 365 days.
The approximately $46,654 it cost to house a detained illegal alien for 365 days in fiscal 2016 was approximately $104 more than the average income for Americans 15 and older that year—which, according to Census Bureau Table PINC-01, was $46,550.
The GAO report—“Immigration Detention: Opportunities Exist to Improve Cost Estimates”—examined how ICE calculates its anticipated budgetary needs for detaining illegal aliens. It discovered, for example, that ICE had made some basic mathematical errors in preparing its budget justifications for Congress, including a $34.7 million multiplication error in its fiscal 2014 request and a $129 million multiplication error in its fiscal 2015 request.
ICE also made a $4,000 multiplication error in calculating its fiscal 2018 budget justification, the report said.
“The fiscal year 2018 request also contains a multiplication error that resulted in ICE requesting less funds—$4,000—than using the correct calculation,” said the report.
Assuming that the $133.99 “bed rate” for fiscal 2018 is accurate, that means it will cost the federal government $48,906.35 to detain an illegal alien for 365 days this year.[Click on the table to enlarge it.]