“If you build they will come” was a magic and profitable strategy for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. But when President Obama decided to construct a palatial amnesty processing center in Crystal City, Virginia, with hopes that illegal aliens would come, the result has proven costly for American taxpayers.
Immediately after declaring amnesty in November of 2014, President Obama instructed his administration to lease an 11-story, 280,000 square foot office building in the Virginia suburbs and hire 1,000 employees to begin processing applicants from millions of illegal aliens.
Never mind that neither the acquisition of space, nor the amnesty edict itself had congressional approval.
One problem though: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has now upheld an injunction which effectively stops the president’s plans.
While most of the employee job offers were put on hold or rescinded, taxpayers are still on the hook for $7.8 million in annual lease fees for a colossal complex that is mostly empty. But that’s not all. The Washington Post reports that, “the building required about $26 million in start-up costs including $2.7 million for workstation and desktop equipment.” Those are sunk costs and the lease fees are long-term.
FAIR Suggestion: Given that immigration court backlogs have hit an all-time high of 445,000 cases that are overwhelming 233 judges in 58 courts nationwide, perhaps a portion of Obama’s idle amnesty factory should be converted to accommodate more hearing rooms with newly hired judges. Effective enforcement and faster removals will reduce the backlogs and reduce the illegal alien population.
Since illegal immigration costs American taxpayers $113 billion a year, that $7.8 million a year building cost might just seem like a bargain if it’s used to remove and not reward those who have no legal right to reside in the U.S.
Because ultimately, “if you enforce it, they won’t come.”