King: Criminal Aliens Increasingly Burden Americans
Thursday, April 21, 2011
GAO report provides new details on fiscal and social costs of criminal aliens
Washington, DC - Congressman Steve King (R-IA) released the following statement today after reviewing the results of a recently completed U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he requested detailing the extent of the criminal and fiscal burden placed on Americans by criminal aliens. The report analyzed the number and nationality of criminal aliens incarcerated in local jails and state and federal prisons; the types of offenses for which criminal aliens are arrested and convicted; and the costs associated with incarcerating criminal aliens.
The GAO report may be viewed in full at this link.
"The GAO report reveals that criminal aliens are imposing increasing social and fiscal costs on Americans," said King."Among the facts determined by GAO are: since 2005, the number of criminal aliens in federal prisons has grown 7%, while the number of SCAAP aliens in state prisons and local jails has increased 34%; that 50% of the criminal aliens studied by GAO have been arrested at least once for violent crimes like assault, homicide, robbery, sex offenses, and kidnapping; that from 2003-2009 the annual cost to state governments to incarcerate SCAAP criminal aliens increased 56% and totaled $7 billion; and that it costs the federal government an additional $1.6 billion a year to house criminal aliens in Bureau of Prisons facilities and to pay SCAAP reimbursements."
"GAO also revealed that two-thirds of criminal aliens are born in Mexico, proving that we have to secure our southern border with a fence, a wall, and a fence. That would drastically reduce the ability of criminal aliens to enter the United States, providing needed relief to overburdened state prison systems and to taxpayers. We also have to do a better job of removing criminal aliens who are apprehended, and of preventing the re-entry into the country of those who are removed."
As a matter of definition, the phrase "criminal alien" refers to non-citizens who are in the country legally or illegally when convicted of a crime. The term "SCAAP criminal alien" refers to non-citizens who have entered the country illegally and have at least one felony or two misdemeanor convictions and for whom state and local jurisdictions are eligible for federal reimbursement.
Among the key findings of the GAO report are the following facts:
- Since 2005, the number of criminal aliens in federal prisons has increased 7% with 54,718 criminal aliens incarcerated in 2009.
- Since 2005, the number of SCAAP criminal aliens in state prisons and local jails has increased 34%. 295,959 SCAAP criminal aliens were incarcerated in 2009.
- 68% of criminal aliens in federal prisons are Mexican citizens; 66% of "SCAAP criminal aliens" in state prison systems were born in Mexico.
- In FY 2010, 62% of criminal aliens apprehended by ICE were ordered removed; 22% of those ordered removed re-entered the country.
- Each criminal alien has an average of 7 arrests. 63% of criminal aliens had at least 6 criminal offenses to their name.
- 50% of criminal aliens in the GAO study were arrested at least once for assault, homicide, robbery, a sex offense, or a kidnapping.
- In New York State, 27% of State Primary Convictions of SCAAP Illegal Alien inmates were for homicides; 50% of New York State Primary Convictions were for homicide and drug offenses. (FY 2008 Data)
- 65% of criminal aliens were arrested at least once for an immigration violation.
- 43% of individuals convicted of Terrorism-related investigations were criminal aliens.
- GAO found that three individuals on DOJ's list of convictions resulting from international terrorism investigations were granted citizenships AFTER their convictions.
- To apply for naturalization, you must demonstrate good moral character for 5 year preceding the application.
- Two of these individuals were convicted of unlawful production of identity documents.
- One was convicted of transferring funds out of the country--violating U.S. sanctions.
- It cost the federal government between $1.516 billion (FY 2005) and $1.632 billion (FY 2009) annually to incarcerate criminal aliens in Bureau of Prisons facilities and to pay SCAAP reimbursements. The cost to incarcerate inmates in BOP facilities alone has increased 15% since 2005.
- It cost states $7 billion to incarcerate criminal aliens in the nation's state prison systems from FY 2003-FY 2009. States were only reimbursed for 23% of this cost. In FY 2003, the cost was $736 million, while in FY 2009 it was $1.149 billion, an increase of 56%.
- Incarcerating SCAAP criminal aliens in state prisons costs $12,500 per inmate. SCAAP, on average, reimburses about 17% of this cost ($2,200). Operating costs are based on correctional officers' salaries, medical care, food service and utilities.
- State Costs (per inmate) to incarcerate SCAAP criminal alien in selected states:
- California: $34,448
- New York: $29,523
- Florida: $14,828
- Arizona: $14,093
- Texas: $12,168