DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers asked the state’s U.S. Representatives and Senators to see to it that Colorado is fully reimbursed under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) for the costs the Colorado Department of Corrections incurs to imprison illegal immigrants.
“Colorado taxpayers are being forced to absorb million of dollars in costs associated with illegal immigration in the state,” Suthers said. “For example: During the fiscal year ending in June 2008, Colorado received nearly $3.3 million in federal reimbursement — less than 6 percent of the more than $57.8 million cost of holding illegal immigrants in state prisons.
“I ask our federal lawmakers to seek and expansion of SCAAP funding so the states can receive adequate reimbursement for the cost of housing of criminals illegally in the United States. To receive less than full reimbursement for the use of state facilities to house illegal immigrants is an unacceptable, unfunded federal mandate.”
The General Assembly passed legislation in 2006 directing the Attorney General to make reasonable efforts to secure the enforcement of federal immigration laws and to recover the costs associated with illegal immigration. Suthers annually informs the Colorado congressional delegation of the various costs to the state of illegal immigrants.