California and Texas lawmakers formed a rare alliance to secure $240 million in federal funds to pay for jailing illegal immigrants despite a congressional drive to reduce Washington’s red ink, reports the Los Angeles Times. After a House subcommittee proposed eliminating federal reimbursements for state prisons and local jails that incarcerate about 300,000 convicted illegal immigrants nationwide, lawmakers from the two most populous blue and red states formed a rare alliance to preserve the money.
Securing jail funding has long been one of California’s top priorities in Washington. California is expected to receive about $65.8 million, about $22 million less than anticipated. But California officials in Washington expressed relief, given the earlier proposal. The money represents only a fraction of the more than $938 million in annual state costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants convicted of crimes, state officials said. The jail funding is included in a spending bill approved by House-Senate negotiators that would prevent a government shutdown this weekend.