Rep. Gosar Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Reimburse Local Law Enforcement for Cost of Incarcerating Criminal Illegal Immigrants

Apr 22, 2016 Issues: Immigration and Border Security

For Immediate Release

Date: April 22, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5035, to reauthorize the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) and assist local law enforcement with executing the program’s intended purpose:

“The Obama Administration has utterly failed in its most important duty of defending the homeland and securing our southern border. By ignoring boarder security, the president has ushered in an immigration crisis that has required state and local law enforcement to take up the immigration enforcement responsibilities of the federal government.

“It only adds insult to injury when the federal government does not fulfill its legal obligation to compensate state and local governments for the rising costs of incarcerating criminal illegal immigrants. Border states, like my home of Arizona, are effectively being robbed by the federal government for having to face this immigration crisis on our own. It’s time for the federal government to do its job or compensate local and state governments for doing it for them. My legislation priorities the necessary and fair resources for SCAAP which currently falls far short of what states and local governments actually spend to incarcerate aliens convicted of crimes.”

In a written statement of support, Executive Director of National Association of Counties, Matt Chase, stated, “This legislation makes important changes to the legislative language governing SCAAP and has the potential to improve the reimbursement rates for counties’ expenses related to the incarceration of undocumented immigrants. Under the changes put forth in the measure, states and counties would be reimbursed for costs associated not only with undocumented individuals who have been convicted of crimes, but also those individuals who have been charged with crimes. Since local jails incur significant costs in housing pre-trial offenders who many not ultimately be convicted of the crimes for which they have been detained, this change in legislative language is important and necessary.”

Background:

The full text of Congressman Gosar’s legislation can be found HERE.

SCAAP is a grant program that reimburses states and local governments for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens. By law, the federal government is ultimately responsible for immigration enforcement, including the incarceration of these offenders.  When this is not possible, the law requires the federal government to compensate state and local governments for these incarceration costs.

Appropriations levels for SCAAP have decreased dramatically in recent years while the costs incurred by local law enforcement for incarcerating these offenders have increased significantly. To combat this problem, Congressman Gosar has spearheaded multiple appropriations requests calling on House leadership to allocate funding for SCAAP fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017. Those requests can be found HERE and HERE respectively.

This legislation would reauthorize the program through 2020 and has companion legislation in the Senate sponsored by Senator John McCain.

Letters of support from organizations endorsing this bill include National Association of Counties and the California State Association of Counties can be found HERE and HERE.

22 bipartisan  cosponsors joined Rep. Gosar in introducing this legislaiton including: Lou Barletta, Diane Black, Mo Brooks, Barbara Comstock, Paul Cook, Kevin Cramer, Henry Cuellar, Scott DesJarlais, Blake Farenthold, Trent Franks, Walter Jones, Steve King, Ann Kirkpatrick, Steve Knight, Doug Lamborn, Martha McSally, Richard Nugent, Pete Olson, Mike Pompeo, Mike Rogers, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert.

Organizations endorsing this legislation to date include: National Association of Counties, California State Association of Counties and NumbersUSA.

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