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Cuellar Announces $265 Million to Help Counties with Border Security




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December 18, 2015 | 784 views | Post a comment

The recently passed omnibus appropriations bill provides $210 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program and $55 million for Operation Stonegarden grants

WASHINGTON -- Today Congressman Cuellar (D-TX-28) announced the inclusion of $265 million in the federal government funding package to assist states and localities that incur costs for incarcerating undocumented criminals and assist with border security.

“The omnibus appropriations act which provides government funding through September 2016 includes $210 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). This is an increase of $25 million over Fiscal Year 2015 funding,” Congressman Cuellar said. “The SCAAP provides grants to reimburse local entities for the costs they incur when incarcerating an undocumented criminal foreign national. In 2013, the latest year for which statistics are available, 3.8 percent of individuals incarcerated in state prisons were noncitizens. To give a sense of the size of the undocumented population this affects, in Fiscal Year 2014, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 177,960 individuals who were previously convicted of a crime and in Fiscal Year 2015, ICE removed approximately 235,000 individuals. Of these removals, almost two-thirds were convicted criminals.

“While immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, our state and local law enforcement play a unique role in improving border security. The omnibus appropriations bill also provides $55 million in funding for Operation Stonegarden grants. These grants support enhanced cooperation and coordination between Department of Homeland Security agencies and local, tribal, and state law enforcement to help secure our borders.

“These SCAAP and Stonegarden grants play an important role in helping states and localities recoup at least some of the funds they expend carrying out a federal responsibility. I thank our border Sheriffs, who locally administer and carry out the Stonegarden program, for their hard work and cooperation in the joint mission of keeping our communities secure and I thank all of our law enforcement personnel in communities along the border for their support and efforts. I would also thank Congressman John Carter (R-TX-31), chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee; and Congressman John Culberson (R-TX-7), Chairman of the House Appropriations Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee; for their support of these important grant programs.”


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Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. Previously, he served as a Texas State Representative and Texas Secretary of State.
 
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