Federal Immigrant Detainer Program Is Costing Bexar County Taxpayers Millions

“The fact of the matter is this is a federal issue and they should be reimbursing us for incurring their cost.”

By Ryan PoppeOctober 19, 2016 9:30 am, , , , ,

From Texas Public Radio

In 2015, Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau says the county housed 231 immigrants believed to be in the country illegally.  The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency or ICE asked Bexar County to detain them.

Sheriff Pamerleau says that housing the immigrants cost local taxpayers just under $2 million.  The federal government only reimbursed Bexar County about 5 percent of that.

“They had committed a crime, yet last year I believe federal reimbursement was only $107,000, that’s not even one month of what it costs this county,” Pamerleau explains.

Under a previous federal program, the county would’ve been reimbursed for holding immigrants arrested on misdemeanor charges. But last year that program changed.

Now the federal government only reimburses local officials for holding inmates who are suspected gang members or charged with felony crimes.  That shift in policy has only widened the gap in what local taxpayers are spending on a federal program.

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