Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Q: What does it cost to deport someone? A: More than you might think

Immigration enforcement isn't usually argued in terms of dollars and cents, so a peek at the cost spreadsheet is always interesting, especially in an election year when talk of enforcement takes a prominent role on the campaign trail.

Business Insider has compiled a breakdown of the estimated cost of a single deportation as talk of deporting undocumented immigrants continues to make waves in the run-up to the 2012 election, with President Obama carrying out a record number of removals, Republican candidate Newt Romney talking about deporting criminals but not "grandmothers," and rival Mitt Romney hoping people will "self-deport" if tougher laws make their lives miserable enough.

The breakdown is based not on a $12,500 per person estimate cited by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official before Congress last year, but on a higher estimate - $23,480 per person - from a non-governmental report in 2010. Here's how Business Insider breaks down the cost - click on the links below for the details:

1. Apprehension: $18,310

2. Detention: $3,355

3. Legal Proceedings: $817

4. Transportation: $1,000

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