That's right, you and I -- the US taxpayer -- paid out nearly $6 billion to incarcerate aliens who have broken the law. Don't you just love our tax dollars at work?
The report by the General Accounting Office – the investigative arm of Congress – shows the number of criminal aliens in federal prisons increased from about 42,000 at the end of 2001 to about 49,000 at the end of last year.
The direct federal costs during the study's time frame were estimated to be $4.2 billion, with federal reimbursements to state and local governments totalling $1.6 billion through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, or SCAAP.
The majority of criminal aliens were identified as citizens of Mexico.
In addition, state prisons in fiscal 2003 housed about 74,000 criminal aliens. About 80 percent were in just five states -- Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Texas.
Also, about 147,000 criminal aliens were jailed in 698 local jurisdictions that received SCAAP reimbursement in 2003.
About 30 percent of those criminals were in five municipal and country jails -- Los Angeles County, California; New York City, New York; Orange County, California; Harris County, Texas; and Maricopa County, Arizona.
Tipped by: The Immigration Blog