The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in an Apr. 7, 2005 report to Congress entitled "Information on Criminal Aliens Incarcerated in Federal and State Prisons and Local Jails," informed:
"When the United States incarcerates criminal aliens--noncitizens convicted of crimes while in this country legally or illegally--in federal and state prisons and local jails, the federal government bears much of the costs. It pays to incarcerate criminal aliens in federal prisons and reimburses state and local governments for a portion of their costs of incarcerating some, but not all, criminal aliens illegally in the country through the Department of Justice's State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) managed by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Some state and local governments have expressed concerns about the impact that criminal aliens have on already overcrowded prisons and jails and that the federal government reimburses them for only a portion of their costs of incarcerating criminal aliens...
At the federal level, the number of criminal aliens incarcerated increased from about 42,000 at the end of calendar year 2001 to about 49,000 at the end of calendar year 2004--a 15 percent increase. The percentage of all federal prisoners who are criminal aliens has remained the same over the last 3 years--about 27 percent. The majority of criminal aliens incarcerated at the end of calendar year 2004 were identified as citizens of Mexico. We estimate the federal cost of incarcerating criminal aliens--Bureau of Prisons (BOP)'s cost to incarcerate criminals and reimbursements to state and local governments under SCAAP--totaled approximately $5.8 billion for calendar years 2001 through 2004."
The Western Governors' Association, in a 2006 policy resolution entitled "U.S-Mexico Border Security and Illegal Immigration," stated:
"As a result of the shared border and proximity to Mexico, Western states of the continental United States suffer a disproportionate financial burden on... criminal justice systems because of unauthorized migration from Mexico. Illegal immigration, however, is not solely a Western issue. It impacts the economy of the entire nation... Because border control measures have increased in recent years, so has the use of human trafficking networks, resulting in more violent crimes along the border, a dramatic uptick in assaults on law enforcement, and overwhelmed state and local criminal justice and correctional systems."
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in an article entitled "Criminal Aliens" on its website (accessed July 10, 2007), offered the following:
"The criminal alien problem is growing. Criminal aliens--non-citizens who commit crimes--are a growing threat to public safety and national security, as well as a drain on our scarce criminal justice resources. In 1980, our federal and state prisons housed fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens. By the end of 1999, these same prisons housed over 68,000 criminal aliens. Today, criminal aliens account for over 29 percent of prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities and a higher share of all federal prison inmates. These prisoners represent the fastest growing segment of the federal prison population.
Over the past five years, an average of more than 72,000 aliens have been arrested annually on drug charges alone. New issue paper... Among the alien federal prisoners, over half (55 percent) were illegally in the United States at the time of their conviction. Administering justice to criminal aliens costs the taxpayer dearly. Incarceration of criminal aliens cost an estimated $624 million to state prisons (1999) and $891 million to federal prisons (2002), according to the most recent available figure from the Bureau of Justice Statistics."
Meredith Kolodner, MA, reporter at The Chief-Leader, in a July 19, 2006 New York Times article entitled "Immigration Enforcement Benefits Prison Firms," wrote:
"As the Bush administration gets tougher on illegal immigration and increases its spending on enforcement, some of the biggest beneficiaries may be the companies that have been building and running private prisons around the country. By the fall of 2007, the administration expects that about 27,500 immigrants will be in detention each night, an increase of 6,700 over the current number in custody. At the average cost these days of $95 a night, that adds up to an estimated total annual cost of nearly $1 billion.
The Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group (formerly the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation) - the two biggest prison operators - now house a total of fewer than 20 percent of the immigrants in detention. But along with several smaller companies, they are jockeying for a bigger piece of the growing business. Corrections Corp. and Geo are already running 8 of the 16 federal detention centers. With all the federal centers now filled and the federal government not planning to build more, most of the new money is expected to go to private companies or to county governments. Even some of the money paid to counties, which currently hold 57 percent of the immigrants in detention, will end up in the pockets of the private companies, since they manage a number of the county jails."
The Minnesota Department of Administration, in a Dec. 8, 2005 Office of Strategic Planning & Results Management report to the Governor of Minnesota entitled "The Impact of Illegal Immigration on Minnesota, Costs and Population Trends," offered the following:
"On the state level, the Minnesota Department of Corrections estimates that it cost approximately $14 million in FY 2005 to incarcerate illegal immigrants in Minnesota. Accounting for federal SCAAP payments that reimburse the state for some of these costs, the net total state cost was approximately $12.8 million in FY 2005. The costs have increased 22.3% over the FY01-FY05 period. During this period, the number of incarcerated illegal immigrants increased from 380 in FY 2001 to 501 in FY 2005. The 501 offenders constituted 5.9% of the FY 2005 overall average prison population in the state. In addition, Minnesota received less in federal SCAAP payments in FY 2005 than it did in FY 2001."
Bill Owens, MA, while Governor of the State of Colorado, in an Aug. 30, 2006 speech in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget, stated:
"As we have learned here in Colorado in recent months, some of the costs can be elusive. But efforts such as this hearing will help all of us identify and understand the fiscal impacts. In many cases, the states and local governments incur significant costs related to illegal immigration, often due to federal mandates... We are able to identify the impact to our state correctional system for housing illegal immigrants who are convicted of crimes. In Colorado prisons, we are housing over 950 illegal immigrants who, upon release, will be detained by the federal office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for likely deportation. At a cost of nearly $27,000 per prisoner, the annual cost to taxpayers to house these offenders is over $25 million."