90 Miles From Tyranny : ICE Wasted $41.1 Million Transporting Detainees on Empty Flights

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ICE Wasted $41.1 Million Transporting Detainees on Empty Flights

Poor management practices at the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) air program have
potentially cost taxpayers $41.1 million by allowing for detainees to be transferred on nearly empty flights, according to a new audit.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) also found that the agency’s database for tracking the transfer of detainees is riddled with errors, leaving ICE unsure of a detainees’ criminal history, gang affiliation, or even gender.

ICE Air uses charter and commercial flights to transfer detainees to foreign countries or within the United States. In many instances, the audit found, the flights are less than half full.

“Although ICE Air met its mission by transporting 930,435 detainees over a 3-1/2 year period, it could have used its resources more effectively,” the audit said. “In fact, ICE Air may have missed opportunities to improve the program’s overall effectiveness even though it has identified some ways to reduce costs associated with detainee transportation.”

“The lack of reliable data limits the ability of management to make informed decisions regarding how many planes it needs to transport the current level of detainees, whether it should...
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