Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has acknowledged the release of 2,000+ illegal immigrants in recent days, and the plans to release about 3,000 more by the end of the month.  While she accepts no responsibility for the action, she explains it by citing the budgetary necessity, saying that it costs $164 per person per day to keep each prisoner locked up.

Obviously, each prisoner is not getting $164 worth of food per day; therefore, she must be dividing the total cost of the program–including the salaries of personnel, payments on one-time facility and furnishing purchases, and utilities–by the total inmate population.  DHS has not announced the closing of facilities, turning off of utilities, or layoffs of personnel.

They will realize little or no savings on food, since DHS reports that it will have to monitor these parolees at a cost of up to $14/per person/per day.  They have not announced additional hiring to monitor these people on the street, so apparently the present staff of parole officers have so little work that they can take on an extra 5,000 cases.   Additionally, the assumption is that state and local programs can absorb the necessity of caring for these jobless criminals at no additional cost (or at least no cost that matters to the feds).

And all that means that the total federal cost of running the program remains the same, while the prison population is reduced by roughly 11%.   By my calculations, that means that the daily cost of maintaining each of the remaining 30,000 after the end of the month will be $191 per day.

And that’s why we need to raise taxes again, so that we can pay for our savings.  Three cheers for Obamanomics!