Cantwell Supports Legislation that Will Channel Funds to Washington State Detention Facilities

Measure reimburses states and localities for costs of incarcerating illegal aliens

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell signed on to bipartisan legislation yesterday to reauthorize the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). The SCAAP formula grant program provides financial assistance to states and localities for correctional officer salary costs brought on by incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens.
“This funding provides key assistance to local and regional correctional agencies in Washington,” said Senator Cantwell. “Without the benefits provided through this program, state and local governments would be forced to fully cover these costs, placing an unnecessary strain on our local communities. This legislation keeps this important funding stable for states.” 
The SCAAP Reauthorization Act provides $950 million from 2012 through 2015. The program was created in 1994 and has distributed over $5 billion to states between fiscal years 1995 and 2009. Washington state has received about $5 million a year from this program. Entities in Washington state have received $52.8 million since 2000. 
States and localities are eligible for reimbursement for undocumented criminal aliens either convicted or charged with two misdemeanors or a felony. 
The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Kyl (R-AZ), Charles Schumer (D-NY), John Cornyn (D-TX), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Mike Crapo (R-ID).