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Public Statements

Letter The Honorable Eric Holder Attorney General

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala) and David Vitter (R-La.) today sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to express their concerns that valuable state and local law enforcement dollars used to fight illegal immigration are wastefully being distributed to cities that encourage and provide safe harbor for illegal aliens.

Senator Shelby specifically requested that the U.S. Department of Justice re-evaluate the process and formula for administering its State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which provides federal payments to states and localities that incur correctional officer costs for incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens.

"The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program is essentially providing room and board for illegal aliens and potential terrorists in Sanctuary Cities," Said Shelby. "Localities who hypocritically request SCAAP funding are providing sanctuary and safe havens for criminal aliens. Sanctuary Cities bar law enforcement from doing their job of asking the people they come into contact with about their immigration status, thus mandating an evasion of their legal responsibilities to share immigration information with federal authorities. The results are safe havens for illegal aliens and potential terrorists where essentially the rule of law does not apply in these cities."

The full text of the letter is below.

July 30, 2010

Via Electronic Transmission

The Honorable Eric Holder
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20530

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

While you have filed suit against the state of Arizona for fighting illegal immigration, it has been brought to our attention that valuable state and local law enforcement dollars used to fight illegal immigration are wastefully being distributed to cities that encourage and provide safe harbor for illegal aliens.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) administers the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which provides federal payments to states and localities that incurred correctional officer costs for incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens.

This program is essentially providing room and board for illegal aliens and potential terrorists in Sanctuary Cities. Localities who hypocritically request SCAAP funding are providing sanctuary and safe havens for criminal aliens. Sanctuary Cities bar law enforcement from doing their job of asking the people they come into contact with about their immigration status, thus mandating an evasion of their legal responsibilities to share immigration information with federal authorities. The results are safe havens for illegal aliens and potential terrorists where essentially the rule of law does not apply in these cities.

The Department of Justice should not be providing law enforcement dollars to cities that provide safe haven to criminal aliens and potential terrorists, as these tax dollars could be used more wisely and efficiently in cities that are legitimately fighting the battle against illegal immigration.

We understand that DOJ does not support SCAAP, as it has not been officially requested by DOJ in the past seven budget requests. SCAAP was airdropped into DOJ's Fiscal Year 2011 budget request for $330 million by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as seen in the official budget pass-back from OMB to DOJ. Since 2000, five states have disproportionately received $2.2 billion of the $2.8 billion (77 percent) in funding this program has received, with some of these states having Sanctuary Cities.

We request that DOJ and the Inspector General immediately identify cities that have sanctuary policies, show sincerity in the fight against illegal immigration, and immediately re-evaluate the process and formula through which SCAAP is administered. The reauthorization of SCAAP is currently pending before Congress so we would appreciate your expedited response so we may better assist you and the Department of Justice in addressing this matter.

Sincerely,

Richard Shelby
David Vitter


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