(VictorValley)– The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors today approved filing an application to the federal government seeking reimbursement for the costs of jailing criminal illegal immigrants.
“The federal government has shirked its responsibility for securing our borders, and compounded that failure by pushing the burden of incarcerating criminal illegal immigrants onto local jurisdictions,” said County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt. “Those costs should be the full responsibility of the federal government.”
The Board approved filing an application to the federal government under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which covers a fraction of the local incarceration costs. The Sheriff estimates costs to incarcerate undocumented criminal aliens in Fiscal Year 2009-10 were $17.9 million. Based upon prior reimbursements, the Department estimates that it may receive reimbursement between $1.0 million and $2.0 million from this grant application.
The County has received a total of $13.8 million in reimbursements over a 13-year period. The most recent award was $1,577,422 for the reimbursement of costs incurred from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009.
“In budget times like these when we are facing potential cuts to essential public services, the federal government’s failure to pick up these costs has a direct impact on our residents,” said Supervisor Mitzelfelt, who won a national award for initiating a program to identify and deport illegal immigrants who have been convicted of crimes. “It is unconscionable that our citizens directly suffer the consequences of Washington, D.C.’s irresponsible lack of action.”
Any funds received will be deposited into the County’s general fund and may be used only for correctional purposes.