Press Releases

Washington, DC – The Senate today unanimously approved an amendment to the budget resolution by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that increases the budget authority for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) for FY 2009 to $950 million, the level at which the program is authorized.

“State and local governments bear the burden of incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens, and SCAAP is the only means of reimbursing these costs,” Senator Feinstein said.

“This is a federal responsibility, and the federal government should not shortchange state and local governments.  This would be patently unfair, because it penalizes state and local governments for the failure of federal immigration policy. This amendment will provide much-needed relief to state and local governments.”

Senator Feinstein’s amendment was co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

President Bush’s FY 2009 budget requested no funding for SCAAP.

The Senate Budget Committee voted $417 million for the program. SCAAP is authorized at $950 million for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2011. Senator Feinstein’s amendment specifically restores $533 million to the program.