U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx.), who may become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January, says it’s time for an “immediate accounting” of money spent on immigration enforcement, reports Legal Times. Last week,the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a report on the 287(g) program, under which state and local authorities can enforce federal immigration laws. The report found that immigration officials couldn't explain all of their travel expenses.
It says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials spent $6,329 per person for travel related to reviewing 287(g) agreements. The inspector general said the travel should have cost about $2,300 per person. Smith said the situation is unacceptable. “It appears that ICE officials have abused their authority when it comes to 287(g) funds and an immediate accounting before Congress is necessary,” he said, adding that the programs are “critical” to immigration enforcement. “We must ensure that federal funds are not squandered by government agencies instead of being directed to law enforcement communities that can help enforce our immigration laws,” Smith said.