Immigration: Frequently Asked Questions on the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) [September 25, 2009]   [open pdf - 138KB]

"The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) is a formula grant program that provides financial assistance to states and localities for correctional officer salary costs incurred for incarcerating 'undocumented criminal aliens.' Currently, SCAAP funds do not cover all of the costs for incarcerating immigrants or foreign nationals. The program is administered by the Office of Justice Programs' Bureau of Justice Assistance, located in the U.S. Department of Justice, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Between FY1995 and FY2009, a total of more than $5 billion has been distributed to states in SCAAP funding. Recent changes to SCAAP include reauthorization through FY2011 and the requirement that SCAAP reimbursements be used for correctional purposes only. Legislation introduced in the 111th Congress includes provisions that would extend the program through FY2014 and authorize appropriations at $1 billion annually for FY2011-FY2014 (H.R. 2282); and would change SCAAP eligibility guidelines to reimburse states not only for criminal aliens convicted of two misdemeanors or a felony, but also for those charged with these crimes as well (S. 168). Funding for the program has also been included in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010 (H.R. 2847). H.R. 2847 as passed by the House on June 18, 2009, would appropriate $300 million for SCAAP, and the Senate reported version would appropriate $228 million for the program. This report will be updated as warranted by legislative, funding, or policy developments."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33431
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