Kyl, McCain join Feinstein in criminal alien reimbursement bill

California Chronicle:

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation to ensure that that states and localities are eligible for reimbursement of the costs associated with incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens.

It is the federal government´s responsibility to control immigration. The cuts to the SCAAP program have let our local public safety services down, and have made our communities less safe, Senator Feinstein said. The cost of incarcerating criminal aliens in jails and prisons is high and the SCAAP program puts a significant financial burden on states. This legislation will ensure that the federal government no longer shirks its duty.

The SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) Reimbursement Protection Act of 2009 (S.168) would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act and requires the Justice Department to reimburse states and localities for the costs of incarcerating criminal aliens either charged with, or convicted of, one felony or two misdemeanors. Since 2003 the Justice Department has reimbursed only for the costs of incarcerating convicted criminal aliens.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Arlen Specter (R-PA), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.),), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

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