Immigration Enforcement by the Numbers Graphic

Immigration 101: Enforcement by the Numbers


Immigration enforcement has taken different forms in the past, but the United States has never spent so much money on it as it does today.

Since 1986, America has spent about 263 billion dollars in agents, technology and detention. Two of the federal agencies involved - Immigration Customs Enforcement, or ICE,  and Customs Border Patrol- or CBP.

They cost nearly 20 billion dollars a year to run. that’s more than the combined budgets of the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, Us Marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

From 2003 to 2016, the number of Border Patrol agents has nearly doubled, and ICE agents have nearly tripled, bringing the total number of enforcement personnel to 50,000.

More manpower and bigger budgets, combined with tougher laws since 1996 and improvements in the economy south of the border, have lessened the flow of unauthorized immigrants.

And even though Border apprehensions are at 40-year lows, the Trump administration wants  to build a 2000 mile wall along the southern border. The price tag? Seventy billion dollars.  


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