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Letter to The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies and The Honorable .....

Letter to The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies and The Honorable Richard C. Shelby, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies

May 31, 2007

The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski
Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Richard C. Shelby
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and Senator Shelby,

As you prepare to markup the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, we urge you to support the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). Specifically, we are requesting that you provide $950 million for SCAAP in Fiscal Year 2008, as authorized under the law. We also urge you to direct the U.S. Department of Justice to disburse SCAAP awards in a timely manner. To date, we have still not received grants from the Fiscal Year 2006 appropriations for this program.

As Governors, we are well aware of the difficult choices that must be made in prioritizing funding. However, the funds provided through SCAAP are critical to our states because without them, our state taxpayers bear the full brunt of the federal government's continued failure to secure the nation's borders.

We appreciate that Congress recently took action to reauthorize SCAAP, an important statement of the broad, bipartisan support the program enjoys in Congress. Each year, thousands of undocumented aliens who have committed crimes in our states are housed in state or local facilities at a cost many times in excess of federal funding levels. While Congress provided help to our states last year by maintaining the appropriations level for this program, the reality is that our SCAAP inmate populations are increasing and more funding is needed.

We stand committed and ready to work with the federal government to protect our nation. However, until the federal government can achieve operational control of our borders, every Effort should be made to help state and local governments cover a greater share of the considerable expense we incur to incarcerate criminal aliens.

Thank you for your consideration of our request. Again, we appreciate your past commitment to SCAAP and look forward to working with you on this issue.

Sincerely,

Janet Napolitano
Governor of Arizona

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California

Kathleen Sebelius
Governor of Kansas

Eliot Spitzer
Governor of New York

Brad Henry
Governor of Oklahoma

Christine Gregoire
Governor of Washington

Rod Blagojevich
Governor of Illinois

Tim Pawlenty
Governor of Minnesota

Mike Rounds
Governor of South Dakota

Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Governor of Utah

Tim Kaine
Governor of Virginia

Rick Perry
Governor of Texas

Ted Kulongoski
Governor of Oregon

Sonny Perdue
Governor of Georgia

Bill Richardson
Governor of New Mexico

Jim Gibbons
Governor of Nevada

Charlie Crist
Governor of Florida


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