Bush's Speech: Ignoring Illegal Alien Killers, Rapists and Assorted Thugs
by Jim Kouri, CPP
During President George W. Bush's televised speech on the issue of illegal immigration, not once did he mention the hordes of criminals entering the United States and preying upon American citizens. How often we hear the news media lamenting the fact that the US incarcerates more and more convicts each year. Want to reduce the incarceration rate? Then reduce criminals to enter the country illegally or enter legally but remain here illegally.
Some may accuse me of gross hyperbole when I say that the government of Mexico uses the US as their penal system, but truth be told, tens of thousands of criminal aliens who come into the US are from Mexico and our federal and state prisons, and local jails warehouse these lawbreakers at the expense of US taxpayers. Not only that, but the US provides an abundance of crime victims for these killers, robbers, rapists and child molesters.
When the United States incarcerates criminal aliens--noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally--in federal and state prisons and local jails, the federal government bears much of the costs. It pays to incarcerate criminal aliens in federal prisons and reimburses state and local governments for a portion of their costs of incarcerating some, but not all, criminal aliens illegally in the country through the Department of Justice's State Criminal Alien Assistance Program managed by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Some state and local governments have expressed concerns about the impact that criminal aliens have on already overcrowded prisons and jails and that the federal government reimburses them for only a portion of their costs of incarcerating criminal aliens. Congress requested that the General Accounting Office provide information concerning criminal aliens incarcerated at the federal, state, and local level. For the criminal aliens incarcerated, the state and local governments that received reimbursement through SCAAP, only received about 25 percent of the costs .
At the federal level, the number of criminal aliens incarcerated increased from about 42,000 at the end of calendar year 2001 to about 49,000 at the end of calendar year 2004--a 15 percent increase. The percentage of all federal prisoners who are criminal aliens has remained the same over the last 3 years--about 27 percent. The majority of criminal aliens incarcerated at the end of calendar year 2004 were identified as citizens of Mexico.
It is estimated the federal cost of incarcerating criminal aliens -- Bureau of Prison's cost to incarcerate criminals and reimbursements to state and local governments under SCAAP --totaled approximately $5.8 billion for calendar years 2001 through 2004. BOP's cost to incarcerate criminal aliens rose from about $950 million in 2001 to about $1.2 billion in 2004--a 14 percent increase.
Federal reimbursements for incarcerating criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails declined from $550 million in 2001 to $280 million in 2004, in a large part due to a reduction in congressional appropriations. At the state level, the 50 states received reimbursement for incarcerating about 77,000 criminal aliens in fiscal year 2002 and 47 states received reimbursement for incarcerating about 74,000 in fiscal year 2003.
For the 5 states incarcerating about 80 percent of these criminal aliens in fiscal year 2003, about 68 percent incarcerated in mid-year 2004 reported that the country of citizenship or country of birth as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, or Cuba. Four of these 5 states spent about $1.6 billion to incarcerate criminal aliens reimbursed through SCAAP during fiscal years 2002 and 2003. Estimates are that the federal government reimbursed these four states about 25 percent or less of the estimated cost to incarcerate these criminal aliens in fiscal years 2002 and 2003.
At the local level, in fiscal year 2002, SCAAP reimbursed about 750 local governments for incarcerating about 138,000 criminal aliens. In fiscal year 2003, SCAAP reimbursed about 700 local governments for about 147,000 criminal aliens, with 5 local jail systems accounting for about 30 percent of these criminal aliens. The 147,000 criminal aliens incarcerated during fiscal year 2003 spent a total of about 8.5 million days in jail. Mexico leads as the country of birth for foreign-born arrestees at these 5 local jails in fiscal year 2003.
It's estimated that 4 of these 5 local jails spent $390 million in fiscal years 2002 and 2003 to incarcerate criminal aliens and were reimbursed about $73 million through SCAAP. It's believed that the federal government reimbursed these localities about 25 percent or less of the criminal alien incarceration cost in fiscal years 2002 and 2003.
Sources: US Justice Department, US Bureau of Prisons, General Accounting Office, American Federation of Police, National Association of Chiefs of Police
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.