Federal funding to offset cost of jailing undocumented criminals is preserved

A federal law enforcement program that provides local governments with funding to help offset a portion of the cost of incarcerating undocumented criminals won’t receive further cuts — for now — according to U.S. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

In July, Capps and 66 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder opposing a U.S. Department of Justice decision to discontinue State Criminal Alien Assistance Program payments to local governments for inmates whose immigration status is “unknown” or are not listed in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement database.

“The DOJ made the right decision in preserving this much needed funding for our local law enforcement,” Capps said.

Last year, Capps joined Sheriff Ian Parkinson in highlighting the importance of SCAAP funding to the Central Coast and how it helps local law enforcement protect the public’s safety.

“According to our sheriffs on the Central Coast, maintaining this federal funding is vitally important in this difficult budget time and critical to keeping services in place to keep our communities safe. This is one of my top public safety priorities, and I will continue to be a strong and consistent advocate for the bipartisan SCAAP program in Congress.”

The cuts would have meant that California counties would have seen awards drop by nearly 50 percent, from $40.8 million to $21.8 million.