Immigration: Sanchez wants states reimbursed

LAKEWOOD - Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Lakewood) reintroduced legislation Monday that would allow states and municipalities to be reimbursed for the costs of detaining illegal immigrants.Sanchez said that keeping out illegal aliens is the responsibility of the federal government and "the costs of housing criminal aliens awaiting trial shouldn't fall on states and counties." The federal government already operates the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which reimburses cities and states for incarcerating illegal immigrants. Sanchez, however, said many costs associated with housing a criminal illegal immigrant prior to trial became ineligible for reimbursement when the Department of Justice began limiting payments in 2003. "[In California] reimbursements have fallen by almost half since the changes in 2003," she said. "This makes it more difficult for police departments to protect the public and fight crime."

********** Published: January 27, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 41