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L.A. County sheriff protests proposed cuts in federal funding

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca expressed serious concern today about a White House proposal to cut hundreds of millions in federal funds that offset the costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants at the local level.

As part of the federal budget released last month, President Barack Obama eliminated funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program(SCAAP), which paid local governments $400 million last year.

Baca, who runs the largest county jail system in the nation, said the loss of the funds — typically about $14 million annually — would be particularly difficult given the state budget crisis and cutbacks by Los Angeles County officials who face diminishing tax revenues.

It cost the county $97 million to incarcerate illegal immigrants last year, and that’s expected to increase to $100 million this year, a sheriff’s spokesman said. The sheriff cannot just turn the immigrants over to federal immigration officials because law requires that they be prosecuted, sentenced and incarcerated before they can be deported.

“California happens to be the largest state with the largest illegal immigrant population," Baca said. "Thus, when the president zeros out this reimbursement program, it sends a message: We don’t care what it does to deplete your local dollars.”

California’s share of the federal funding had already declined during the last decade from 68% to 39% as more states applied for the money. The program covers only about 11% of the cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants statewide.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who visited White House officials last month to lobby for SCAAP funding, called the cuts “pathetic.”

Last month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined 11 other governors in sending a letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee urging them to fully fund the program at a cost of $950 million.

A spokeswoman for the governor said he is continuing to lobby for more funding.


“Every SCAAP dollar we get in reimbursement is a dollar that can be spent on healthcare services and other general fund programs that are now suffering difficult cuts as a result of the economic recession,” spokeswoman Lisa Page said.

Baca said he spoke with White House representatives and members of the California delegation during a visit to Washington last month, and was reassured that Congress members, such as Ken Calvert (R-Riverside), who have proposed legislation reinstating the funding will succeed, as they did under Presidents Bush and Clinton.

Earlier this month, the appropriations committee voted to restore $300 million of the program’s funding, and that proposal could be taken up by the House as early as next week, staff said.

Calvert had proposed adding another $100 million drawn from excess U.S. Census money allotted under the federal stimulus, but his proposal failed.

Calvert, who said he has been hearing from California sheriffs upset about losing the federal money, said he plans to keep pursuing it.

“This is a federal responsibility,” he said. “We’ve got to come back and add money in because it’s absolutely necessary.”

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

I think Schwarzenegger should uphold the rule of law and govern by the rules set forth by the United States Constitution as he swore he would with his oath of office.

Back in the sixties the government came into the schools and brainwashed us with the idea we needed to control the population because it was rising so fast. They said the roads would become crowded and we would run out of things like water.

They unleashed abortions, birth control pills, and other forms of Family Planning.

To allow the country to be over run with the criminals in businesses illegal labor while the criminals in the government aid and abet the invasion is a travesty against mankind.

They have seen to it our children were killed to control the population at the same time allowing the world to export their population problems here.

What about our sacrifices, many made against our will?????

P.S. We still haven't recovered from the last time the criminals in business were allowed to bring in their slaves.

Sheriff outcry, but if people know what he is doing he should face a lot of critics, because he can not post a way how they expend the money, why the state better gives license to illegal resident and receive therevenues for the sheriff?

This is our fault for voting for open border Democrats who care less about the American worker and more for the "Undocumented Democrats". That is they way the Democratic party looks at illegal aliens...Undocumented Democrats.

So how bad does the situation have to get before we stop pandering to political correctness and realize that we have to stop encouraging illegal immigration? If the Feds say we have to house, educate and medicate illegals, but don't want to foot the bill, then it's time to challenge these rulings.

Now Baca crying a river of tears about loosing Federal $$$$$
to subsidize illegal alien detention while his SILENCE
on L.A.'s invasion by millions of illegal aliens on his watch
is Deafening!
Dump Him and our MecHa/La Raza mayor and city council!
NumbersUSA
Capsweb
Alipac
CCIR
SaveourState......it may be too late


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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