The Main Stream

Jan 6, 2010 12:37 PM

Martin: Arizona taxpayers owed $1 billion from illegal immigration

PHOENIX - As Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano submitted numerous invoices to the federal government for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Plan (SCAAP) from FY1994 to FY2008. Today State Treasurer Dean Martin announced that he is now pursuing those same claims with now Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

"The cost of illegal immigration has exhausted the Arizona State Treasury. In order to pay for the federal government's responsibility of securing our national borders and incarcerating individuals who enter the United States illegally and commit crimes, the state has incurred hundreds of millions of dollars of debt to pay these bills," said Treasurer Dean Martin.

8 U.S.C. § 1231(i)(2), requires that the federal government "provides for compensation to the State. . .with respect to the incarceration of the undocumented criminal alien" and the compensation be based upon "average cost of incarceration of a prisoner in the relevant State."

As Governor, Janet Napolitano in her March 17, 2008 invoice said, "the federal government is required by law to pay these costs, but has failed to pay more than pennies on the dollar."

"The updated invoice, including accrued interest, is over one billion dollars," said Treasurer Dean Martin. "Illegal immigration has literally broken the bank here in Arizona. Napolitano is now responsible for securing our borders and is in a position to make good on the bill that she said the federal government owed. It's time for this bill to be paid before legal remedies are pursued to recoup this long overdue debt to Arizona taxpayers."

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