President Barack Obama’s Justice Department investigated the cost of Connecticut’s criminal alien inmate population, according to a new report. The study came to light, as President Donald Trump signed an executive order reminding mayors and governors to enforce current federal immigration law:
U.S. Code › Title 8 › Chapter 12 › Subchapter II › Part IX › § 1373
8 U.S. Code § 1373 – Communication between government agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Service:
Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.
(b) Additional authority of government entitiesNotwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, no person or agency may prohibit, or in any way restrict, a Federal, State, or local government entity from doing any of the following with respect to information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual:
(1) Sending such information to, or requesting or receiving such information from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
(2) Maintaining such information.
(3) Exchanging such information with any other Federal, State, or local government entity.
(c) Obligation to respond to inquiries
The Immigration and Naturalization Service shall respond to an inquiry by a Federal, State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual within the jurisdiction of the agency for any purpose authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or status information.
(Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title VI, § 642, Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–707.
As protests mounted over the weekend to the Trump’s demand that the law be followed, word of the Obama study emerged. So many states and cities were ignoring federal immigration law, the Obama administration had to narrow its study to 10 areas, and Connecticut was among them. In Connecticut’s case, the cost to taxpayers of imprisoning criminal aliens was $69,305,444, the second highest figures among the 10 areas examined. Only California’s cost more at $132,409,635. Under a SCAAP (State Criminal Alien Assistance Program) grant, the federal government was supposed to reimburse states for incarcerating criminal aliens, but former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo writes the government has only reimbursed the states 2.7 cents on the dollar. If that’s the case, cash-strapped Connecticut is on the hook for big bucks.
It might be interesting to find out what the hidden cost to taxpayers in Connecticut is, as the nation’s failure to grapple with the immigration problem has now erupted into a full-fledged battle.