- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

The Justice Department yesterday said all 50 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories will receive more than $550 million to help pay incarceration costs of illegal aliens convicted of serious crimes here.
Department officials said the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), authorized under the 1994 Crime Act, provides financial assistance to states and localities for paying the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens in state and local correctional systems.
While the size of the payments made through the SCAAP program is tied to the number of criminal aliens incarcerated and to corrections officers' salaries within a jurisdiction, the department said the funds do not have to be used in prison systems. SCAAP funds, from the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), go back into the state's or locality's general fund and can be used for any purpose.
"The expenses of incarcerating illegal criminal aliens are very real costs that deeply impact local and state governments," said Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels. "Since the 1994 Crime Act, OJP has awarded approximately $3.3 billion to states and localities to pay for housing criminal aliens.
"Helping states bear these costs is just one part of an overall strategy to manage and improve upon our existing network of borders and enforce our current immigration policies," she said.
Program applicants increased by 25 percent this year, as did the awards ,which increased from 413 in fiscal 2000 to 517 in fiscal 2001. Five states will receive about 75 percent of 2001 funds: Arizona ($23 million), California ($225 million), Florida ($28 million), New York ($94 million) and Texas ($45 million).
Los Angeles County and New York City were two of the largest localities to receive awards totaling $29 million and $32 million, respectively.
In addition, the District will receive $780,571; Maryland, $2.55 million; and Virginia, $5.3 million.

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