The $90 million California is expected to receive from the federal government this year for jailing illegal immigrants convicted of crimes is far short of the state’s roughly $1 billion annual cost, the Los Angeles Times reports. Last year, Los Angeles County got $15.4 million in federal aid. That is a small fraction of the $100 million it spends on average to jail illegal immigrants.
The state — which houses 19,000 illegal immigrants in its prisons and jails — receives the federal money through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, or SCAAP. Obama’s proposed budget plan sets aside $330 million for the incarceration program, down from $400 million last year. Wuth California struggling to balance its budget, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is continuing to fight for additional funding. Officials from states greatly affected by illegal immigration long have argued that their taxpayers should not have to bear the burden for Washington’s failure to control the border.