It seems counterintuitive.
The government pulls people suspected of being here illegally out of airplane lines and then pays to detain, prosecute and deport them to the country they were headed to in the first place.
Public defenders say it's a colossal waste of time and taxpayer money.
"What's silly about this is that they are on their way home. They have gotten the message that they shouldn't be here," said Houston's Federal Public Defender Marjorie Meyers. "It's not cost-effective."
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