NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 25, 2008

As America hardens its stance against illegal aliens, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program is yet another tool against sanctuary cities, and it promotes tighter border security, says the Washington Times.

Under the program:

  • States are offered roughly 15 cents for every dollar spent on holding illegal residents who are found committing non-federal crimes.
  • States receive payments for holding only those criminals who meet a narrow set of criteria; payments overwhelmingly go to states like California, New York, Texas and Florida, which are battling a troubling crush of illegal aliens.

White House budget officials say the program is not directly reducing crime and favors its elimination, says the Times.  But Jessica Vaughan, a senior policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, says the purpose of the program is clear: to help state and local government officials who are apprehending criminals who shouldn't be here in the first place but remain in the United States due to failed federal policies.

Indeed, the immigration policy debacle this summer showed the federal government's failure to craft meaningful changes to reduce the flow of illegal aliens, says the Times.  While the program in some ways presents an approach to illegal aliens that is defensive rather than proactive, it provides at least some compensation for states on the front lines of the battle against those who choose to flout our immigration laws and place a strain on our economy.

Source: Editorial, "Arrested Development," Washington Times, February 20, 2008.


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