The US-VISIT program subjects visitors to the USA to a humiliating round of being mug-shotted and fingerprinted, and has cost at least $15 billion. Since January 2004, it has caught a paltry 1,000 immigration cheats and crooks (no terrorists, though), at a cost of $15 million per apprehension. As Bruce Schneier points out, this is a pretty cost-ineffective way of catching crooks.
I wrote about US-VISIT in 2004, and back then I said that it was too expensive and a bad trade-off. The price tag for "the next phase" was $15B; I'm sure the total cost is much higher.
But take that $15B number. One thousand bad guys, most of them not very bad, caught through US-VISIT. That's $15M per bad guy caught.
Surely there's a more cost-effective way to catch bad guys?