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Immigration enforcement expected to fuel prison boom

The Wall Street Journal reports that the population in the federal government's prison system is expected to see a surge next year. The expected upswing is due to the Trump administration's efforts to arrest undocumented immigrants and drug offenders.

The changes in policy will reverse a trend toward reducing prison populations under former President Barack Obama and in many states across the nation, according to The Crime Report, an online publication for criminal justice journalists.

The Justice Department's 2018 budget proposal outlines plans for a 2 percent growth in federal prison population, as well as increases in the number of federal prosecutors (adding an extra 300) and immigration judges (an additional 75). What is missing from the budget proposal, perhaps ironically, is the cost of the hiring and added prisoners.

Private prison companies don't want to miss out on what is expected to a significant boost in spending on immigrant detainees and additional inmates. The companies hope to increase their slice of the pie; already 19 percent of federal detainees and inmates are in private facilities.

That percentage is likely to rise, analysts say, because federal prisons are already 14 percent over capacity.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, along with Republican and Democrat senators from several other states, told the Department of Justice that "In many cases, the new policy will result in counterproductive sentences that do nothing to make the public safer."

If you or a loved one is facing detention or deportation, contact a Kentucky immigration law attorney experienced in deportation defense.

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