Guess How Many BILLIONS it is Costing U.S. Citizens to Run Sanctuary Cities and Harbor Illegals

So people would rather keep spending that money over and over than putting it to use and keeping these people out? How backwards does that sound? Just keep them out and use the rest to help people who are in this country already.

By Tom Tancredo

The Trump executive order is also good news for taxpayers. Sanctuary cities impose a huge, billion cost to taxpayers that has been hidden from public view and shielded from political accountability.

  • That annual taxpayer burden amounts to over $14 Billion nationally, over $1 billion in California and Texas and over $100 million annually in over a dozen states.

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The taxpayer costs revealed by those annual reports are mind-boggling. States and local communities are being reimbursed at less than three cents on the dollar of the true costs for criminal alien incarceration, but politicians are hiding that fact from the nation’s taxpayers.

In my home state of Colorado, the 2016 SCAAP report by the state Department of Corrections revealed that state prison system was holding 2,039 criminal aliens at a cost of $37,958 per inmate. That is a total cost of $77,396,362. The federal reimbursement grant was $2,077, 720. That is a grant of 2.7 cents for every dollar of actual cost. Those 2,039 criminal alien inmates were 14% of all state prison inmates: One in every seven felons in the state prison system is a criminal alien.

The federal SCAAP grant program was established by Congress as an acknowledgment of federal responsibility for a failed border security and failed federal enforcement of immigration laws. But the appropriated amount for reimbursing local communities their incarceration costs through SCAAP grants has NEVER been adequate for full cost reimbursement. In 2016, the federal reimbursement program was given a paltry $189 million.

  • At 2.7 cents on the dollar, that amount would not reimburse the full costs of even one of the five states having over 10,000 criminal aliens in the state’s jails and prisons and receiving over $6 million in SCAAP grants– California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Arizona.
  • That $189 million would be $7 BILLION annually if the federal government wanted to reimburse states and local communities the full cost of incarcerating over 200,000 criminal aliens

To most Americans, these hidden taxpayer costs are not the most important reason for opposing sanctuary city policies. The real cost is not in taxpayer dollars but in the hundreds of thousands of crimes committed by individuals who should not be here in the first place. If we had secure borders and effective enforcement of all immigration, these criminal alien incarceration numbers would be very small.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to note the figure for the cost to Colorado is $37,958 rather than $27,958.


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