No room at the inn: hotels used to house illegal immigrants

Immigrants awaiting deportation may find themselves in a hotel – provided they are not violent and don’t have any sort of criminal history. The check-in program is intended to cut the cost of holding immigrants before they are deported. Last year, the United States spent $2 billion on sheltering immigrants that would eventually be sent out of the country.

So, will it work?

The cost to detain illegal immigrants in “alternative” facilities (hotels and nursing homes, which are also included in the plan) is estimated to be $14 a day – compared to more than $100 a day to detain them in jails and prisons.

What’s not clear is how this will affect the occupancy rates in hotels near the border. If all goes well, this could be exactly what an ailing hotel industry needs.