Saturday, May 31, 2014
Yesterday, a study prepared by NERA Economic Consulting, an international firm based in New York, was released that estimates that a system that provided legal counsel for every indigent immigrant facing deportation from teh United States would cost about $208 million per year. But the program would pay for itself by saving about the same amount in reduced government expenditures to detain and remove immigrants and in other savings.
The New York Times ran a story by Kirk Semple on the cost-benefit report, which had been requested by the New York City Bar Association. Yesterday, at the Law and Society annual meeting in Minneapolis, Dr. John Montgomery, the report's author, presented the report on a panel led by Mark Noferi and including Ingrid Eagly (UCLA), Robert Koulish (Maryland), and me. Dr. Montgomery outlined the findings of the report, explaining various assumptions for the cost and benefit projections. His presentation was followed by a lively discussion, with audience participation as well as the commentary of the other panelists, about the right to counsel, the role of economic analysis in making immigration policy decisions, and related matters.