The Bureau of Justice Assistance has confirmed that the total federal expenditure for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program for fiscal year 2010 was roughly $330 million. Again, however, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance has gotten an estimate wrong.
Though federal funding for this program has been decreasing over the past couple years (the government spent $394 million on the same program in 2009), officials estimated that $0 would be spent on the program this year. They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Furthermore, this program (which supposedly compensates states and localities for expenses incurred from imprisoning “undocumented criminal aliens”) applies to U.S. territories Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
The Use of Funds List for the program from fiscal years 2007 through 2009 included performance-based bonuses, construction of corrections facilities and medical and mental health services.
Theoretically, this program uses federal resources to house and care for illegal immigrants convicted of wrongdoing. However, if we’re going to spend money on immigration-related things, let’s spend it on immigrants who arrive on our shores legally and who do so without inflicting harm on American interests.
Finally, as with any form of government intervention, the presence of corruption is always a possibility. The chief executive officers of the localities that apply for these SCAAP funds must sign off on the application; also, once a state or locality has been given SCAAP money, it is not required to keep progress or expenditure reports. Performance monitoring isn’t a requirement either. Where is the transparency in that?