May 24, 2005


Senate authorizes funding for criminal alien program

Washington, DC â?? State, county, and local leaders could see new funding to deal with issues related to the illegal entry of criminal aliens into the U.S, under legislation supported by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig. The U.S. Senate today approved, by unanimous consent, a measure that would reauthorize and more than double funding authority for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). Crapo led an effort last year to alert county sheriffs throughout Idaho about the program known as SCAAP and invited many of them to come to Washington, DC, for training and seminars regarding the program.â??It is proper for the federal government to increase the assistance to states and municipalities as we deal with illegal immigration activity,â?? Crapo said. â??Federal dollars pay to secure our borders, but illegal aliens who do enter the country may become the financial burden for counties and local taxpayers should they become incarcerated. This program, if fully-funded, will offer increased help to address those concerns.â??"SCAAP is a critical resource that supports Idaho's state and local law enforcement in locking up illegal aliens who commit crimes in our communities,â?? Craig said. â??I'm pleased the Senate agreed to renew and increase the funding for this program, to better meet the federal government's responsibility for controlling illegal immigration."Authorization for the SCAAP program expired last October. The Senate today authorized spending up to $750 million for reimbursement for Fiscal Year 2006, increasing to $950 million by Fiscal Year 2008, a figure that is more than double the $305 million (appropriated/enacted) for Fiscal Year 2005.SCAAP reimburses counties for correctional officer salary costs for incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens for at least four days. Idaho received $699,690 from the SCAAP program in 2004. # # #