The cost of jailing undocumented immigrants

Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

 By Dan Hill

Texas Tribune

Reports from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards show that Texas county jails spent more than $187.7 million housing 155,380 undocumented immigrants with federal detainers between October 2011 and January 2014.

Read the full interactive report on the Texas Tribune website:

Somervell County ranked 143 on the list. The county housed 44 undocumented inmates from October 2011 to January 14, the records show. The detainees were housed for 980 days at a cost of $47,000.

The number of undocumented immigrants housed in the Somervell County Jail on federal detainers decreased 8.33 percent between 2012 and 2013, while the cost of housing immigrants on federal detainers decreased 17.86 percent.

The No. 1 county was Harris, which housed 34,833 detainees during the same period for a total of 766,806 days and at a cost to taxpayers of more than $57.5 million.

In the counties adjacent to Somervell, Bosque County ranked No. 96 on the list, housing 98 inmates at a cost of $95,328; Erath County was just two notches above Somervell with 47 inmates housed at a cost of $37,343; Hood County came in at No. 73 with 183 detainees costing $189,468; and Johnson County scored in top 35 (No. 34) with 515 detainees that cost the county $439,266.

A state law passed in 2011 requires Texas jails to report monthly estimates of the cost of housing undocumented immigrants.

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