Illegal Immigrants A Bipartisan Frustration
Fed up with the U.S. Government’s negligence in handling the country’s massive illegal immigration problem, many state and city officials have taken action and this week a Democrat governor sent the feds a strongly worded letter along with a huge bill for the cost of jailing criminal illegal immigrants.
Washington State Governor Chris Greoire fired off a whopping $50 million invoice billing the federal government for housing 995 illegal immigrants in state penitentiaries, supposedly the responsibility of the feds.
The bill is for costs incurred from July 2004 through May 2006 and the fed up governor says that using state money to cover the federal government’s bill takes up valuable state prison space. That, in turn, jeopardizes public safety. All of the illegal immigrants have been convicted for committing state crimes so the state has no choice but to incarcerate them.
Many state legislators have created their own laws to address illegal immigration since their federal counterparts have allowed the problem to spiral out of control. Georgia created a law that forbids illegal immigrants from receiving state benefits and places stiff sanctions on employers who hire them; Colorado now bans non emergency services to illegal migrants and requires employers to prove new hires are in the country legally; Arizona and Illinois now require U.S. citizenship or legal residency to receive public health benefits and Missouri prohibits illegal aliens from obtaining or renewing a driver’s license.
The incarceration issue is a bit different since the cost of it cannot be avoided for a convicted felon, regardless of immigration status. Freedom Folks makes a valid point in writing that the bottom line is that, no matter which level of government picks up the tab, the taxpayer is still paying through the nose for an expense that would be moot if our government would just enforce our laws.